Benson’s thoughts over Whitehaven defeat

Date published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DISAPPOINTED, yes . . . but coach Tony Benson won’t be losing too much sleep over the Roughyeds’ 40-24 defeat at Whitehaven yesterday.

No lover of the English way of doing things over Easter, like asking part-time players to turn out twice in four days, the New Zealander said he could sympathise to some degree with his well-beaten troops.

But he added: “That doesn’t mean I am looking for excuses. No way, am I. We didn’t play to the shape that punished Rochdale and we didn’t have the same ‘push’.

“No matter how tired you are after a Friday game you have to come up here and perform again on the Monday. That’s the reality.

“We lost the services of four players who were injured against Rochdale, and three of them might have been okay for the next game but for the quick turn-around.

“Nevertheless, we competed to the end and we never gave up. There’s certainly no cause for panic.

“It was disappointing to concede five tries in the first half alone, but they were mainly the result of individual errors rather than poor team defending.

“Oddly enough, the stats were pretty good. Our set completion was 85 per cent; there were few missed tackles; and although we were penalised 11 times that’s not particularly high.

“We were very much in the contest when we cut Whitehaven’s lead to 24-18 early in the second half, but the turning point came when we were harshly penalised for holding down on ‘Haven’s last tackle. They got another set, kicked a penalty to stretch their lead to eight points, and never looked back.”