Disastrous 10-minute spell proves fatal for Mariners
A HORROR opening 10-minutes proved fatal for Fraser Coast Mariners' hopes of victory.
The Mariners had hoped their home ground advantage would make their mission to defeat Maleny a touch easier, but that theory was disspelled soon after the opening whistle.
Four Malney tries and 24 points later, the Mariners were in deep strife.
"We didn't touch the ball for the first 10 minutes," coach Trent Devere said. "We couldn't regain it and they cut us to pieces."
Maleny took advantage of Fraser Coast's forwards forced to slot into the backline by using their speed.
The Mariners' compressed defence didn't help matters, but Devere said once it was sorted they held strong.
"We knew how to defend well but we didn't do it for those first 10," he said.
"Once they fixed up those defensive errors like looking up, scanning, moving out - we got sucked in too much - spreading out that defence, we didn't leak another point in the game.
"The defensive structure is there, we just started poorly."
It proved costly as Maleny won 24-19, in a game that many expect to be the first chapter in a tight battle for a place in Sunshine Coast Rugby Union reserve grade's finals series.
"If we had some genuine outside backs we would've had a genuine chance," Devere said.
"It shows the attitude of the side to be down that much, to take a hit like that, and not give up, to come back and want to get back into the game and win.
"It shows we have a good attitude in our side."
Luke Wolter, halves Adam Ebert and Nathan Thompson, and fullback Kale Hendle were among the Mariners' best, while Peter van Rooyen scored two tries.
The Mariners will travel to Maroochydore this week to face the Swans on their home turf.