Roller-coaster ride continues for Ipswich-based combinations
THE contrasting fortunes of the Ipswich-based Barber Cup teams continued on the weekend.
But the roles were reversed this time.
Ipswich Rangers secured their first win in five matches and Springfield suffered their first loss in five games.
Rangers beat Pine Rivers 60-17.
Springfield lost to Redlands 55-22.
While Springfield has had to leave players out of their squad for home games, only 17 showed up for the away match on Saturday.
Several arrived only minutes before the game was due to start.
Just as the numbers were lacking, so was the attitude and Redlands led 19-0 after 10 minutes.
"They had us running everywhere," Springfield coach Jeremy Clark said. "And their backs are quite slick too.
"The only good thing was we got a bonus point for scoring four tries."
Springfield awoke from their slumber and got back into the match, trailing 22-10 at half time.
When they scored first after the break to make it 22-15, the momentum was with the visitors.
Then came a crucial call Clark believes took the game away from his team.
"They had hands in the ruck and the ball shot out the side," he said.
"They picked it up and ran away for a 70m try."
Clark was not blaming the referee for the loss, however, aiming the criticism squarely at the players who struggle to show the same sort of commitment away from home as they do when playing at Springfield Lakes.
"I just thought our preparation before the match was not that good," he said.
"We had made a call to meet and travel together on a bus. But they still all come in dribs and drabs.
"But that's all in their heads.
"You've got to be able to switch on from the kick-off."
Despite his disappointment, Clark was able to take some positives from the game, beside the valuable four-try bonus point.
With four wins on the trot, he was worried his team was starting to get ahead of itself.
The loss ensured there is no question about how much work they have to do, and the correct attitude they will need, to be a genuine title contender.
"We just got out-played," Clark said. "But it's good.
"It's a grounding thing."