The Cowboys’ hopes of tipping the Macquarie Raiders out of top five were crushed on Saturday as the visitors slapped a 12-point win on their opposition.
The tussle ended in a 26-32 loss and shifted the Cowboys to sixth on the ladder.
Captain-coach Aidan Ryan said Macquarie’s dominance early in the game put them on the front foot, but Wellington clawed their way back into the game to head into half time down 14-12.
“They jumped out of the blocks when the game started and scored three tries in about 15 minutes,” he said.
“We talked about how crucial the first 10 minutes in second half would be but we came out pretty slow again.”
Macquarie raked in two quick tries within seven minutes of second half before the Cowboys shifted into gear and took the lead.
Aidan said it was all downhill from there as Macquarie capitalised on two intercepts.
“I told the boys on Saturday we’ve just got to play our style of footy, which we were, and if they didn’t get the intercepts we would’ve scored off those opportunities,” he said.
“It was very unfortunate or we would’ve been up a few tries if they all went to plan, but that’s just the way footy goes I guess.”
He said the loss comes at a particularly hard time for the team who will take on high flyers, the Parkes Spacemen, this week.
“For some reason we’ve never been able to beat them – I think in my whole playing career we’ve beat them three times, I don’t know what it is,” Aidan said.
But with a full team the captain-coach is hopeful his side will be competitive.
“That’s all we’ve been trying to do this year, just keep grinding away and get a few more wins, upset some of the stronger sides,” he said.
He said the Cowboys’ sights will be set on two key players for the Spacemen.
“Their halfback tore Forbes to threads so we'll be watching him, and their captain-coach Denis Morran is lethal,” Aidan said.
“We’ve just got to stick together.”
While the points didn’t go the Cowboys’ way on Saturday, they had huge success at the charity auction.
As the count continues Aidan predicts the club raised in excess of $25,000 through the auction of jerseys and donated goods on Saturday night.
He confirmed the jersey of Cowboys’ veteran forward, Ben McGregor, was snatched up for around $1200.
The motivating factors behind the fundraiser are Ryan Medley and Gracie Sharp who will benefit from the donations.
“It’s pretty massive for a small community to get together like that,” Aidan said.
“The Macquarie people were great, CYMS came over for it too and family members of Gracie Sharp, they didn’t have to do that but they came along to show their support.
“The whole day was great.”