Coach questions focus of players
By AARON KELLY FRENCHVILLE Sports Club Capricorn Cougars coach Justin Kilshaw has questioned the preparation of his players after their Football Queensland State Cup title aspirations went out the window at Rockhampton's Ryan Park on Saturday night.
With a home semi-final up for grabs, the Cougars self-destructed in their 5-2 loss to Brisbane powerhouse Rochedale Rovers, conceding three goals in the final 15 minutes.
"The game was there for the taking but for some reason we packed up shop and went home,'' a disappointed Kilshaw said yesterday.
"We've certainly got question marks over some players and we'll be analysing the tape (of the game) on Tuesday night.''
It is understood some players were still in celebration mode following Australia's World Cup qualification just days before the game.
On the field, in-form striker Kenny Robertson opened the scoring for the home side after 20 minutes but Rochedale hit back to lead 2-1 mid-way through the second half.
Michael Steere then restored life into the Cougars' charge towards the finals when he equalised in the 65th minute before last season's Brisbane Premier League runners-up ran away with the game in the dying stages.
The Cougars remain a mathematical chance of reaching the semi-final stage and now face a must-win final round clash with Whitsunday Coast at home this weekend.
Group leaders Rochedale face a tough away match against North Queensland in Townsville while the Sunshine Coast can book a finals appearance at home against Wide Bay.
Kilshaw may be forced to make some changes for Saturday night's match with captain Craig Porter (concussion) and defender Darren Jeffries (groin), who was ruled out just before the Rovers game, both in doubt.
But Kilshaw hinted other changes could be made.
"There will be changes without a doubt,'' he said.
"We've got some very keen boys on the bench ready for their opportunity.