The season of woe continued on Saturday for the Yass Rams, who were toppled by the second-ranked Bungendore side on a dreary afternoon.
Play was made no easier by the clouds drifting in front of the sun and bitter breezes which swept across Mick Sherd Oval for most of the match.
To the Rams’ credit, the first half of the match was a tough back-and-forth affair, and the half-time score of 19-7 did not reflect the fightback which appeared to be mounting before the horn blew.
However, once the second half began, the momentum which appeared to have been developing for Yass quickly evaporated.
Bungendore scored several quick tries, breaking through the Rams’ defence without so much as a second thought.
According to one onlooker, it was as if the Rams were “trying to fold their shirt collars for ‘em, not tackle them.”
Yass coach Lance Wellington agreed to a lesser extent, saying that “we try and play an up-and-in defence, and if someone misses their assignment then you’re very exposed once they come through the line.”
Many of the problems for the Rams defence started in the scrums; they struggled to prevent Bungendore players from breaking the line and often running nearly the full length of the field to score.
“There were some pretty bad misses there, which resulted in tries down the other end,” Wellington said.
“It’s been a long season for the loose forwards, we’re up to our third number eight.
“They need to chase, they need to pick up those inside balls, they were just running on tired legs today.”
Adding to Yass’s struggling cause was the size difference between their players and Bungendore’s. The home side boasted several members who, when tackled, often made the Rams look as though they were made of rubber.
It was an underwhelming finish to the season from Yass, who were struck down with injuries throughout and could not get any momentum going from one match to the next.
After the team’s loss against Taralga two rounds earlier, Wellington said that, despite the poor results throughout the season, it had turned into a good opportunity to blood young players and prepare them for the years ahead.
This week, Wellington said that the sudden turnaround between halves was a “reality check” for the team.
“It was 19-7 at half time, the boys just, they need that belief to be able to push through to the second half … they just lost the focus, and then they start playing catch-up.”
Although the Rams scored one consolatory try in the second half, it was only a brief moment of positivity in an otherwise dreary afternoon, which ended with Yass being sunk 59-12.