Forced changes no excuse for Falcons in Mackay
RUGBY LEAGUE: Melbourne Storm tinkering with the Sunshine Coast Falcons’ spine like a dodgy chiropractor isn’t to blame for its loss to bottom placed Mackay, halfback Ryley Jacks has stressed.
Jacks said penalties and dropped ball at crucial times is what cost the sixth-placed Falcons most in its 26-18 defeat at the hands of the Cutters on Saturday night.
With coach Craig Ingebrigtsen last week admitting the side had started to talk about a potential finals berth, Jacks said the loss was a stark reminder that every dog can have its day in the Intrust Super Cup.
“We know we’ve now got to win a lot of games (in the run to the finals),” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of teams coming after us and they could jump us now. Everyone’s keen to get back to training and work hard at it.
“It was a reality check and I think we know anyone in the (Intrust Super) Cup can beat anyone (else). We definitely learned that on Saturday night.”
Despite missing key forwards like star prop Tui Kamikamica to injury, Jacks said the men up-front were at their best.
“I can’t fault our forwards, they’re unreal,” he said.
“They just keep having a crack.”
But at the request of Melbourne Storm, Curtis Scott was picked to play five-eighth forcing regular pivot Alex Bishop to hooker.
Jacks admitted the change in structure close to the finals “hurt” but in time is confident its a smart move for both the Falcons and Storm.
“Whatever the reason is, Melbourne Storm players come back and it’s not a bad thing,” he said.
“Curtis (Scott) is an awesome player and having him play at six means he gets his hands on the ball. You can’t look at that as a bad thing.”
Jacks is spewing about the loss, claiming it was one his side truly needed to win.
“We need to win those games,” he said.
“We sort of did it to ourselves through out errors and we gave away too many penalties at crucial times.”
The crucial times he speaks of is just seconds before half-time, when the Cutters crossed on the back of a penalty in the 40th minute.
They would be the first team to score in the second half. Jacks would score his second try of the night in the 74th minute but it was too late.
“Right at the end we had a shot to win it, but we couldn’t come back,” Jacks said.
“We had eight points to get that last little bit, we did well to get a couple of tries but just couldn’t get the job done.”