South West Rocks’ (SWR) first grade side was taught a harsh lesson in their first two-day match of the season against Rovers over the past fortnight.
SWR entered the game riding a high after they secured a comfortable win in their opening game of the season against Stuarts Point/Eungai.
However, they were quickly brought back down to earth as Rovers posted a first innings total of 8/339 off their 50 overs before SWR were dismissed for 76 in response.
SWR improved drastically in the second innings to bat out the second day and avoid an outright loss. They scored 6/154 as they preserved their wickets despite facing 76 overs.
SWR first grade spokesperson Tom Mann claims it was a learning curve for the side.
“The young players learned a lot from the game, especially about how to approach a two-day game,” Mann told the Argus.
“There was a lot of opportunities that we didn’t take and we were punished for it.”
Rovers batsman Allan Hutley did the majority of the damage to SWR as he finished the first innings unbeaten on 179. However, it could have been very different if SWR took their chances.
“Allan was dropped five times and then went on to produce a match winning performance,” Mann said.
“There was plenty of moments like this throughout the game and the young players will learn from that – they already showed improvement in the second innings.”
The first grade competition alternates between one and two-day games and Mann believes SWR will be better prepared for when they face off with Nulla in their second two-day game of the season this Saturday.
“I believe you benefit and learn a lot more from a loss than a win,” Mann said. “The players have been thinking about where they can improve whereas if they won, they just celebrate.
“The players learned they can build an innings in a two-day game and they can’t just throw away their wicket.
“They showed that in the second innings when Mitchell Smith batted for the full 76 overs.”
Mann is hopeful the experience will help the development of the young players and they will take what they have learned into their match with Nulla.
“We see Nulla as the benchmark of the competition, they have 11 legit first grade players,” Mann said.
“If the players can take on board what they learned from the Rovers game, then they should be a lot better against Nulla.
“We are confident and will play for the win, we feel like we have a strong team and a good mix of experience and young players, and if we can take our opportunities then we are every chance of causing an upset.”
Meanwhile in the other first grade match, Rovers host Stuarts Point/Eungai at the Kempsey Golf Club.
Stuarts Point/Eungai, who are struggling for player numbers, are expected to have a tough afternoon against the Rovers.