Even though they finished within six points of Taree City Bulls in the Group Three Rugby League game at Taree, Old Bar coach Jamie Moorehead said his side didn't deserve to win.
He was speaking after his side went down 22-16 at the Jack Neal Oval.
"We played five minutes of good footy at the end, but that's not good enough,'' a disappointed Moorehead said at fulltime.
Moorehead agreed his side lacked direction.
"Our forward pack is down on strength but we're still making metres,'' he said.
"But we're not playing footy off the back of it. So we're not taking the smart options.
We're not taking the smart optionsOld Bar coach Jamie Moorehead
"The Easter break probably comes at a good time for us. We have plenty of time to regroup and then we'll go from there.''
Co-coach and captain Shannon Ellem agreed the Pirates finished strongly.
"But we weren't good enough out of the gate,'' he quickly added.
"We have a lot to look at in the next few weeks. We have blokes coming back, we can re-assess it at training.''
Ellem pointed out that the Pirates have had to change their halves combinations on numerous occasions due to injury.
"It's not ideal, but hopefully we can get our halves sorted and go from there. We have four or five first graders to come back in and we'll have a strong bench. We can go from there and play some good 80 minute footy.''
We defended for most of the second half and we had a few discipline issues. That's something we've got to work onTaree City coach Todd Bridge
Taree City coach Todd Bridge said his side showed plenty of character in the second half, even though they allowed the Pirates back into the contest when leading 22-0.
"We defended for most of the second half and we had a few discipline issues. That's something we've got to work on,'' he said.
"But it's good to get the first win on the board.''
He was elated at his side's first half performance.
"It was real good - we turned up the intensity and scored a couple of good tries off moves we've been practicing.''
Bridge agreed that centre Callum Wesley will be an asset. He scored two tries in his first appearance for the club in first grade.
"I coached Cal in under 18s and he definitely a match winner,'' Bridge said.
"It's good to have Nayden (Moriarty) back as well. Those two can hit holes and score tries for us, so they did real well.''
Bridge added that hooker Oscar Carey is a consistent performer.
"He just does the same thing week-in-week out. You know what you're going to get - he tackles his heart out and for his size he's one of the best defenders I've seen. His work around dummy half is excellent.''
However, it wasn't all positive, with Bridge saying the middle forward defence was 'pretty poor.'
"Old Bar got a roll-on pretty quick, so we can work on that. We also had two of our more senior forwards out today so they'll come back and stiffen up the pack.
"But it's exciting and we have something to work on.''
Bridge was happy to watch the game from the sideline after playing 65 minutes of the opening round clash before his dodgy knees started to cause him problems.
"I don't need to play again...I was pretty happy sitting on the sideline and watching the blokes go around,'' he laughed.
"I'll play again if I'm needed but I'm more than happy to let these young blokes play first grade. I've had my time and I'm happy to sit on the sideline.''
The Bulls also have plenty in depth in the halves, with Bridge waiting until midway through the second section to introduce Keiran Cochrane.
" 'Kicker' works away a bit and he only gets there to training on Thursday night, but it's handy to have him there on the bench. And Toby (De Stefano), well, he can play him anywhere,'' he said.
"And I thought (halfback) Dean Mills had a fair game there today with his talk and direction until he got binned. ''
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