THREE injuries in the opening 15 minutes proved too big a hurdle for the Wauchope RSL Blues in their first grade loss to the Forster Tuncurry Hawks on Sunday.
The Blues eventually lost the contest 54 points to 30 - a scoreline that was not a true indication of the intensity of the match.
The huge injury toll meant the Blues played the majority of the game with just one fully fit reserve on the bench.
Despite those setbacks, the Blues opened the scoring before the Hawks leveled with a try against the run of play.
The Blues then pushed ahead again when hardworking backrower, Mat Bird scored his team's second try. The Blues were then controversially denied a try which would have extended their lead.
From this point on, Forster had a weight of possession and posted two tries, one being right on half time siren to go to into break four points clear of the Blues.
The came out for the resumption of play 'fired up' but a lack of ball control at crucial times proved costly, as did the lack of reserve depth.
The boys hung in all game until the final five minutes when Forster scored three late tries to race to 54 points.
Whilst the Blues were defeated it was a great effort with only 14 players and to be in the game for 75 minutes.
Blues were best served by Robbie and Chris Trembath and Mat Bird. Players Player was Robbie Trembath.
The Lower Grades
The Wauchope RSL Blues reserve grade scored a decisive 28-6 win over a tough Hawks outfit.
The Blues started the game really well completing 90% of their sets and continued to play well all game.
The Blues defence was solid only letting the Hawks in for one try.
Danny Marchment received the coveted players player award.
The Blues Under 18 boys also were short of numbers for the weekend's game having just one reserve from the outset.
Unfortunately an injury early in the contest meant the young guns played the majority of the contest with a bare 13 players.
The side was defeated by a stronger Hawks side 50-6.
They never stop trying and hopefully can turn it around this week against Wingham Tigers. Players player was Trae Cole.
The Ladies League Tag side scored a great 4-3 win over the higher placed Forster team.
The team were always in control of the game and now they have defeated every team in the competition they should be confident of going all the way. Consistency will be the key.
Players player was Raquel Lievore.