IT WAS a premature ending for the Eastern Cobras in their latest clash against Fassifern.
After a positive start to their A Grade campaign, the Cobras experienced a new low as they were forced to throw in the towel against the table-topping Bombers on Friday night.
The Cobras had already been dealt an early blow with their halfback injured while playing against Fassifern last week.
Returning for the catch-up game at Harrisville, the Cobras were forced to call upon their Colts and Reserve Grade players as a number of senior players withdrew at the last minute.
Despite the rest of the competition given the bye for the Ipswich Cup weekend, Fassifern coach Daniel Roos said his team was unaffected.
"We had no issues,” Roos said.
"We had four reserves who missed out on playing and we were at full strength bar Scott Ireland who was out injured.
"A few of the Cobras' A Grade players didn't turn up so they had a lot of Under 19 and Reserve Grade players backing up against us.”
The night only got worse for the visitors as injuries decimated their makeshift team.
The loss of four senior players and a mounting scoreline pressured the Cobras coaching staff into making a difficult decision.
Down 54-0 at halftime, the Cobras conceded the win to Fassifern.
"It wasn't by choice that they had to forfeit,” Roos said.
"They lost four or five of their senior guys in the first half.
"We were already up by 50 points and the Cobras sports trainer and coach were both worried about the safety of their players.”
Despite the loss, it was a valiant effort by the Cobras' Under 19s to step up into First Grade.
The Cobras' young brigade had defeated Fassifern 30-6 earlier in the night, with the Reserve Grade outfit narrowly going down 28-20.
Taking over top spot on the Ipswich A Grade ladder on 32 points, Fassifern have finally lost the tag of underdog.
With games against West End and the second-placed Norths Tigers on the horizon, Roos said the Bombers were focused on continuing their strong form this season.
"It's definitely a first for me as a coach to have this much depth,” he said.
"Our position on the ladder hasn't been a big focus for us.
"We've just been concentrating on making sure we turn up to play each week.
"I mentioned it for the first time on Friday night that if we won we'd be on top of the ladder.
"It's going to be very competitive for the rest of the season and we know we can't afford to drop any games. We have Norths in a couple of weeks so it will be good to see where we are at.”
Rugby League Ipswich results:
Colts: Eastern Cobras 30 def Fassifern Bombers 6.
Reserve Grade: Fassifern Bombers 28 def Eastern Cobras 20.
A Grade: Fassifern Bombers 54 def Eastern Cobras 0 (halftime score).