THEY say coaching is a mug's game.
Just ask Dawson Valley Drovers coach Angus Peacock, as his side put in their best display all season in the final game against top-of-the-ladder Colts long after any hope of making the finals was a distant memory.
In a season where injury has ravaged the club's backline, Drovers took it to the favourites for the premiership in Moura on Saturday.
Both sides had many players backing up from reserve grade that had been played in oven-like conditions, but it was still 35 degrees at half time in A-grade.
Drovers grabbed a surprise 26-14 lead and looked headed for a stunning upset victory when they scored early in the second half, but the Colts stormed home to win 48-32.
Peacock said he was happy with his players' efforts and had expected Colts to come back, but Colts centre Charlie Fetoai's powerful running proved too much for Drovers as he carved up the defence out wide.
In the first half Drovers had let the ball do the work and the backs found space with some strong attacking rugby.
“We always had this type of game in us - it just took all season to get there,” lamented Peacock.
“No one thought we could put 30 points on Colts,” the proud coach said.
Peacock said Colts deserved to win, but his side's rousing effort came from months of hard training and the added motivation of playing at home.
Drovers president Mike Austin said the passes had stuck for Drovers in the first half as some of the young players that had been slotted into the backline this year due to injuries chanced their arm.
“The confidence of youth” is how Austin described it.
But the Drovers could not sustain it.Score board Colts 48 d Drovers 32 (K. Anderson, K. Muirhead, S. Krik, A. Moore, A. Guse tries; A. Sampson 4 conversions)
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