The Rock-Yerong Creek co-coach Andy Carey declared Coleambally a genuine premiership chance after Saturday’s qualifying final but admitted he was blindsided by his own team’s lacklustre performance.
Carey said he hadn’t seen a game like it since joining the club at the start of last season.
“I reckon that’s the worst we’ve played in two years,” Carey said.
It’s not that the Pies weren’t anticipating a big response after beating the Blues on home soil two weeks ago and then learning of their 16-goal capitulation at the hands of the Hawks.
Carey said there was nothing in TRYC’s preparation to suggest what was in store.
“I didn’t see it coming,” he said.
“We just didn’t turn up today. The tempo raises 20 percent (in finals) and we just weren’t expecting it – we were second to the footy, just reacting to what they were doing really.”
The Pies buckled under intense pressure and Coleambally outsmarted them all over the ground as well.
The best that could be said about TRYC’s effort was that it was most unlike the Pies and they’ll look to bounce back from a bad day out – just as the Blues did – in Saturday’s sudden-death semi-final at Maher Oval.
But as Carey came to terms with the fact that their premiership defence will have to be done the hard way, he wasn’t taking anything away from the Blues, declaring them the real deal.
“They’re a good side Coly,” he said.
“They beat East Wagga earlier in the year too – they’re a chance to go all the way.”