Rangers lose to Irish in "a rubbish game of footy"
WHEN a narrow loss is dissected, it is usually the little things that have made a difference.
So it was when Ipswich Rangers were defeated by a freakish final minute try against Brisbane Irish at Woodend in the Barber Cup on Saturday.
Irish won 25-24 to close the gap on third placed Rangers.
Rangers were able to keep ahead of Irish due to the two bonus points they got from the loss; one for losing by fewer than eight points and one for scoring four tries.
"It was devastating really," Rangers five-eighth Stuart Banks said.
"It was a bit of an eye opener."
An eye-opener because it was a game Rangers, having found form to win their past three games, expected to win.
But the application required wasn't there.
Banks indicated poor attendance at training was in part to blame for the poor attitude, and coach Rob Sadler confirmed it with his ultimatum after the game.
Sadler addressed the team in no uncertain terms, threatening that anyone who wasn't there for training Tuesday and Thursday nights wouldn't be playing first grade.
"There's been some poor attendance at training during the week," Banks said. "So after the game we got a good serve."
Banks was still coming to grips with losing a game Rangers didn't deserve to win, but probably should have.
"I don't know how to explain it," he said. "I don't think they won the game; we lost it.
"We dropped so much ball and they had their niggling little game where they try and get you to fall into their rubbish."
With Rangers' focus and attitude not 100% committed, it worked.
"Apart from Josh Sio, I don't think any of our forwards or backs stood out," Banks said.
"No one really was on their game."
After trailing 8-5 at half-time, Rangers went further behind when Irish crossed first after the break.
Finally the home team was roused into action and an extended period of dominance led to a try to Rangers captain Charlie Scott, while Irish had a man sent to the sin-bin.
Rangers carried on from there, scoring twice more to take the lead.
"We had them," Banks said. "We were up.
"Then they did a chip and chase from 50 or 60m out, got the bounce and put it under the sticks with the conversion to win the game.
"But to be honest we didn't deserve to win.
"It was a rubbish game of footy.
"There was a lack of attitude.
"When we were trying to get ready no-one was on their game."
Banks endorsed Sadler's insistence that training attendance needed to improve.
"We spoke on Thursday about how important it was coming to Old Boys day (this Saturday) and it was a pretty important game looking at the ladder," he said.
"We had the game but lost it.
"We didn't even play to our set piece.
"We were way off our game.
"To Irish's credit they gave it to us. We had no line-speed in defence."
In the Pegg Cup, Rangers beat Irish 54-0 with Shaun Ward scoring two tries and kicking seven goals.