Gritty defeat has Hammers finals plans on hold
RUGBY UNION: While the Gympie Hammers are still regarded as a finals dark horse, a narrow two try loss to Caloundra on Saturday at White's Gully has forced the team to hunker down for what is left of the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union division two premiership.
Sitting in fifth place, a top four finish would guarantee a finals berth in a couple of weeks.
Post-match, Hammers coach Jason McPherson was far from disappointed with his team's efforts, saying they held their own against a much more physical side.
"Just getting one try on the board today will help us a lot,” McPherson told The Gympie Times after the loss.
"It will sneak us ahead of Fraser Coast and hopefully lock us into that fifth spot.
"It will depend on how Maleny goes but we are still knocking on the door of the top four,” he said.
McPherson said the concept of a finals finish has been mentioned around the camp, but is adamant his chargers are remaining realistic about the challenges the rest of the season will pose.
"Taking on these guys (Caloundra) today (Saturday) when their A-grade side wasn't playing, it could have been a different story,” McPherson said.
"Our boys were not bullied today.
"The game did get a bit of niggle in it.
"A lot of that comes from when unfit players do illegal things like flop.”
Caloundra are sitting in third position overall and destroyed University 45-0 last start.
The Hammers play Maleny at Maleny next week.
There is a small injury cloud hanging over Ryan Gottke who shattered his nose.