A deflated Orange Emus skipper Nigel Staniforth believes his side lacked the hunger to win a third consecutive Blowes Clothing Cup premiership.
The Greens won 19 straight games to progress through to this year’s decider undefeated, but fell at the final hurdle as Forbes exacted revenge on last year’s 14-11 grand final result to win 28-20 in front of a bumper Endeavour Oval crowd.
Staniforth cut a dejected figure during the Forbes post game celebrations and said his side couldn’t match the drive the Platypi showed on the season’s biggest day.
“To be honest, they haven’t had (a premiership win as a group), and I think they wanted it a little bit more than us at the end,” Staniforth said.
“We really lacked that killer punch, and they wanted it. They’re a really good footy team.”
He said his side’s execution running with a sizeable wind during the first 40 minutes wasn’t good enough.
“Slowly getting my head around it … probably that first half, we didn’t execute enough,” he added.
“We had chances, there’s a few tough calls. The second half was always going to be hard, they had their tails up.
“But we played into their hands as well. They ramped it up a bit and we fell off. They came home hard.
“Well done to them, they got the cherries.”
Staniforth said he wasn’t sure whether or not this Emus group would return in 2018, the club on a run of four straight Blowes Clothing Cup grand final appearances, netting back-to-back premierships in 2015 and 2016.
Roos beat Emus in 2014 at Dubbo while Forbes snatched this year’s title on Saturday.
It’s been a remarkable run for Emus, but, Staniforth says, the 2017 decider caps what has been a difficult campaign for the club.
It’s never easy defending a title, and the Orange club found out how difficult it is backing up after two triumphant campaigns this winter.
“It’s been a tough season. The frustrating thing is, this isn’t our best footy,” Staniforth said looking at what his side dished up in the grand final.
“Sometimes that happens, to Forbes’ credit they didn’t let us play our best.
“They were on and we weren’t.”