THE Bay Tigers’ finals hopes are over, coach Deryck Fox admitted on Monday.
Saturday afternoon’s heartbreaking 38-24 loss against the Warilla-Lake South Gorillas was the final nail in the Tigers’ frustrating season.
And to think it all started so well.
“I think so,” Fox said when asked if the Bay’s finals hopes were over.
“I think when we lost to Milton last week, we couldn’t make the five.
“Basically what we’re going to do now is see the season out on a high note if we can.”
After Warilla-Lake South opened the scores at Mackay Park on Saturday inside five minutes, the Tigers responded with tries to Willie Newton and Mason Harrison to open up an 18-4 advantage.
That lead was cut to just two points by half-time before the Tigers surrendered a lead for the third time in four matches to eventually go down by 14 points.
In fairness, the final scoreboard somewhat flattered the visitors but their notable size advantage proved too much for the young Tigers.
“We did the usual, we got in front, but we just can’t seem to go on with it,” Fox said.
“We’re only a young side, so when physicality comes into it we can’t seem to match it with other sides in the group.”
Fox cut a bitterly disappointed
figure after the latest defeat and he said his first season with the club hadn’t gone the way he hoped it would.
However, he has vowed to “step up another gear” in 2013.
“I take everything to heart and every time we come away with a loss I seem to take it personally,” he said.
“It doesn’t seem to be going the way I wanted it to go on my debut season, so it’s a learning curve for everybody at the club and obviously things need to step up another gear.”
Fox described the way the Tigers’ season had fallen apart as “frustrating” and said that in terms of skills, they could match it with anyone.
“We can match it with most sides and that’s the most frustrating thing,” he said.
“We can score points but we just get overpowered.”
Inspirational forward Grant Roberts has played his last match for the club after he accepted a job in Western Australia.
His time with the Tigers ended on a sour note as he was sent off and subsequently suspended for a high tackle last week against Milton-Ulladulla.
Despite that, Fox said Roberts would be fondly remembered.
“We’ve got to replace him, but I don’t need one Grant Roberts, I need two,” he said.
“He’s a tremendous fella and I wish I had played alongside him five or six years ago.”