Claver confidence dealt a blow in Toowoomba
THE St Peter Claver College first grade rugby league side has a less than ideal final warm-up before it hosts the Queensland Confraternity carnival next week.
SPCC lost 22-14 to cede top spot in their Gee Shield pool to the unbeaten St Mary's at Toowoomba yesterday.
But it was the manner of the defeat that concerned coach Todd Riggs the most.
"The boys were a little bit off," Riggs said.
"Some things went against us and some of the boys didn't respond well near the end when it was tight."
It seems a parochial home crowd made it tough for the referee to remain impartial.
But that was nothing SPCC hadn't expected and Riggs expected his team to deal with it better.
"It was a tight tussle, like we expected," Riggs said.
"They had a tough forward pack that came at us.
"There was a really good atmosphere with three quarters of the school there.
"We certainly didn't get the rub of the green.
"But it got to us and poor choices gave them quality possession, which was the difference in the end."
The loss has put a dent in the team's Confro ambitions, where cross-town Ipswich rival St Edmund's College looms in game one of the tournament on Monday morning.
About the only thing Riggs could find to be positive about was the fact he has some time to try and improve things.
"We'll be better for that," he said.
"We haven't had a whole heap of footy and it showed in the last 10 minutes in the heat of battle.
"We've got a couple of sessions before Confro.
"We've got work to do if we are going to get past Eddies and St Augustine's on day one of Confro."
SPCC will play Morayfield of Redcliffe high school in the semi-final of the Gee Shield next term.
SPCC also went down to St Mary's in the De Vere Shield (Year 10) match, 36-6.