AFTER a strong performance last week against Tenterfield and consecutive training attendances in the high-teens during the week, the Stanthorpe Rugby League club was left wondering after only nine players made themselves available on Saturday to play the second placed Roosters at Inglewood.
Stanthorpe Gremlins chairman David Ball said while they had some players out with injuries and work commitments, they still expected to have enough to field a side with a few reserves.
"We weren't expecting this, so to avoid receiving a fine and forfeiting a home game we decided to go out to Inglewood with what we had,” Ball said.
"We were behind the eight ball before we even started with the Inglewood side having the luxury of being able to rotate their 16 players. It's just impossible to mark up and cover the whole width of the field when you only have nine.”
Ball commended the players who turned up, however. "Most if not all of the Roosters' tries were scored when they threw it wide,” he said.
"Our defence was really good in the middle but we just couldn't contain them on the flanks. We tried hard but just couldn't get the numbers there in cover.”
Ball said that when Stanthorpe claimed possession of the ball, however, they controlled it well, completing sets and finding touch with their kicks.
"Our big men ran the ball up hard and our backs did manage to break the defensive line on a couple of occasions,” Ball said.
"The other plus for us is that we didn't sustain any major injuries from the game.”
Captain-coach Gary Skimmings said that despite the 62-2 loss he couldn't have asked for more from the team.
"Every single one of our players gave 110% and never dropped their heads, and for that the club cannot praise them enough,” he said.
"They showed what dedication, commitment and the Gremlin spirit is all about.”
Steven Foster was awarded players' player.
The Gremlins will travel to play against Killarney Cutters on Saturday and expect a better result with most of the injured players returning and some experienced players now available.
Inglewood will play a home game against Tenterfield in what's expected to be a strong battle for this season.