"We as a club expect better" – that's the stern message coming from West Belconnen Warriors coach Troy Thompson following an ugly game marked by four sin-bins and almost 30 penalties.
West Belconnen continued their unbeaten start to the Canberra Raiders Cup season with a 36-26 win over the Gungahlin Bulls at Kippax Oval on Sunday.
Willie Raston was sin-binned twice.
But Thompson says it was hardly anything to get excited about – in fact it was "a pretty poor game" compounded by four sin-binnings.
"We had two guys [Matt Kelly and Dustin Listser] sin-binned and I think one wasn’t warranted to be honest, he came in to help his mate off the ground and a Bulls bloke pushed him," Thompson said.
"Our bloke got sin-binned towards the end of the game and then I think Willie Raston got sin-binned for them twice in one game.
"Some [penalties] were warranted but at the end of the day he has evened them up which was fair enough. It was just a stop-start game, it was a pretty messy game, there was a lot of dropped ball from both teams.
"It’s not the referee’s fault. We as a club expect better than that performance but we were pretty poor in regards to our attack and defence.
"I thought it was a pretty poor game from both teams I reckon. There was a lot of penalties in the game, I think there was 28 penalties.
"We started off really well in the first 20 and just fell away. Our completion rate was less than 40 per cent which is just not good enough."
While it wasn't pretty, West Belconnen have continued their unbeaten start after they trounced the Queanbeyan Blues 40-0 last week.
But Thompson isn't taking any solace in that performance, because "we were terrible last week too". Barnstorming centre Tevita Aroha-Tuinauvai was one of very few shinings lights in the Warriors mentor's eyes.
Bulls coach David Howell says the hosts "copped the rub of the green with a few penalties", and while admitting some were warranted he was left scratching his head after Raston was sin-binned for a second time for a high tackle.
"The second one I thought was a bit harsh considering some of the things that have been let go over the past couple of weeks," Howell said.
"It does [leave you frustrated], but they’re things that we can’t control and that’s not what lost us the game. Our defence probably lost us the game.
"They’ve just got to get the belief in themselves. Obviously they can get themselves into the game, they’ve just got to start a bit stronger and know they can compete with every team in the comp.
"We’re just putting ourselves behind the eight ball to start which doesn’t help."
Meanwhile, a 65th minute field goal to halfback Chris Rawlinson handed the Yass Magpies a slender 19-18 win over the Woden Valley Rams at Phillip Oval.
Woden were handed a penalty inside the final four minutes 40 metres out from the Yass line but opted against a shot at penalty goal in a decision they were left to rue.
AT A GLANCE
Canberra Raiders Cup round three: WEST BELCONNEN WARRIORS 36 (R McQueen, H Brown, T Aroha-Tuinauvai, J Duffey, J Graham, T Moa, H Whatman tries; M Campbell 4 goals) bt GUNGAHLIN BULLS 26 (Scorers not provided).
YASS MAGPIES 19 (J Toppin 2, T Warner tries; J Toppin 2 goals; C Rawlinson field goal) bt WODEN VALLEY RAMS 18 (K Vaetoe, S Ferry, T Hodge tries; R Leapai 2, M Geiger goals)
TUGGERANONG BUSHRANGERS 26 (L Tuicakau, D Faaeteete, M Picker, N Vanisi, D Hickson tries; J Mitchell 2, L Oakley goals) bt GOULBURN BULLDOGS 16 (P Cooke, M Dodson, K Mitwari tries; C
Hart 2 goals)
QUEANBEYAN BLUES 56 (J Wheeler 4, T Campese, F Fainifo, L Manu, Z Patch, T Stevens, C
Wynnik tries; T Campese 7, Z Patch goals) bt BELCONNEN UNITED SHARKS 6 (J Mecham-Crane try; A MacDonald goal)
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