Wellington Redbacks coach Brett Conn said his team need to lift their game if they are to be competitive in the GrainCorp Cup Northern Division.
Conn’s comments come after a disappointing 20-12 loss against defending premiers Trangie Tigers at Bicentennial Park on Saturday.
Wellington hosted the strong Tigers side who wasted no time in putting points on the board.
“We started off a bit flat and they came out strong,” Conn said.
“We had a couple of opportunities about the 10-15 minute mark and we didn’t take them.
“A bit of sloppy play and the Tigers came down and put a few points on us.”
The visitors continued to run circles around the Redbacks until they shifted into gear and started playing structured football.
Conn said his boys were competitive in set pieces when they came out firing in second half to open their scoreline off a tight-handed scrum.
“We won their scrum, took it off the back and Tommy Swainston scored,” he said.
“We lifted a bit on the back of that and got another try 10 minutes later to Zac McManus in the corner.
“It put a bit of fire in their belly, that really made them lift and they got a sniff and started playing better.”
However the comeback was too late for the Redbacks who were shut down with five minutes remaining.
“We were going well but Trangie came back, piled the pressure on us and kept us in our own half,” Conn said.
“We made mistakes and they capitalised on good field position to take out the game.”
The coach said he wants to see his team start winning games and not accepting losses.
“They could have won that and I want to see them win those games,” Conn said.
“It’s not enough to accept you’re not going to win, we can beat every other team and we should start doing it.
“We’ve got to lift. It’s the desire, the will and wanting to win.
“It’s going that extra 20 per cent, that’s the difference at the moment, the other teams just seem to want it more.
“The wins will come, but they don’t just come, you have to make them happen.”
Three points went to Kieran Simpson, two to Simon Baxter and one point each to Tom Swainston and Jake Newman.
Redbacks will take on Geurie Goats this weekend in what they hope to be their third win for the season.
“We’ll play with more structure as we did on the weekend,” Conn said.
“We’ll keep building on the good points out of that game and hopefully put in an 80 minute effort – if we play like we did in those 15 minutes we have a pretty good chance.”