Mariners stuck in a slump ahead of tough Noosa trip
THERE is a mental block that has consistently kept Fraser Coast Mariners from winning games.
Despite leading by seven points in each of their last four games, the Mariners have only been able to turn of those into a win.
While the 25-7 triumph over Maroochydore Swans on May 14 was celebrated as a turning point for the side, they gave up another 7-0 lead to Sunshine Coast University on Saturday.
"We missed quite a few of our regulars but we were one try short in that first half," co-coach Trent Devere said. "We do have some new blood in the back line but they (University) were able to bring on some of their more experienced A-grade players from the bench.
"That was probably the best we've played this year."
University scored what was ultimately a match- winning try 15 minutes from full time.
The 13-7 loss means all wasn't lost for Fraser Coast (they get a bonus point for losing by less than seven), but it does heap a bit more pressure on Devere's men.
With a road trip to undefeated Noosa Dolphins this week, there is a real possibility Fraser Coast could end up with just one win from eight games.
"Noosa is the toughest trip in the comp but we've had success there," he said.
"We have to win at least one of our next two games."
The long length of the season meant the Mariners had a lot more time to gel and develop consistent form.
They need only finish fourth to reach the finals.
University currently sit fourth on the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union reserve grade ladder, but on 14 points are just a bonus point win ahead of Fraser Coast.
For now, it is a position in which Devere does not mind sitting as his side continue to work on their new combinations.
"Simple mistakes cost us. Obviously them being able to bring on those players helped them but we couldn't claw it back," he said.
"It happens most of the time but it's not too bad.
"It's good for our guys to play against that level of players. If our numbers get back to enough for both grades it's good for the players to know they can match it with that standard of player."
Kale Hendle and Christiaan Mostert were among Devere's pick for their best.
"Christiaan was great considering it was just his second game," he said.
"His combination (with Adam Ebert) has come along really well and the forwards are getting used to him being there."