Battered Brahmans struggle to hold on against Darling Downs
ONEHUNGA Mata'uiau told it straight after the Brahmans' late-game collapse against Darling Downs, admitting "we couldn't keep up with them," as the visitors powered home 24-13 at Rugby Park on Saturday night.
Mata'uiau could not pinpoint why the Brahmans, who have proven many times over they are capable of finishing well, could muster nothing in response to their opponents' second-half ferocity.
"They outmuscled us in every part of the second half," Mata'uiau said.
"We tried to come back strong, but would lose the ball and end up back down in our area.
"Darling Downs wanted it more than us. They were a lot more physical."
The Brahmans coach said the impact of the Darling Downs front line was "quality" and helped build momentum over the home side.
"They got out and played in every part of the game," Mata'uiau said.
"We couldn't afford to ease off against such a strong side like Darling Downs."
Ill-discipline cost the Brahmans the lead, heading into the break seven-points behind.
"Our speed off our line defence wasn't sharp enough," Mata'uiau said.
"We need to learn to hold onto the ball, rather than giving it straight back.
"We can't play without a ball."
The Brahmans crept back 13-19, but a couple of minor injuries and self-confessed poor performances lost them the game.
"Lee Anderson admitted he had a shocker," Mata'uiau said.
"He was the first to admit we got off to a bad start and kicked the ball away too often."
Mata'uiau singled out his side's shaky defence and admitted there was plenty to work on at training this week.
CQ BRAHMANS SQUAD
1. Tom Winton, 2. Harry Hicks, 3. Dan Tyson, 4. Karl Anderson, 5. Paul Tema, 6. Hayden Collins, 7. Jason Solice, 8. Jessie Taylor, 9. Aubre Harmes, 10. Lee Anderson, 11. Luke Pertram, 12. Eric Smyth, 13. Denzel Mooney, 14. Graig Henderson, 15. David West, 16. Levini Bolauqua, 17. Emmanual Sappy, 18. Nick Watson, 19. Jake West, 20. Lachlan Howell, 21. Kalani Heke, 22. Adam Conway, 23. Brandon Fourie