JUNEE’S hopes of ending its 30-year premiership drought suffered a devastating blow when captain-coach Matt Hands was injured in the 36-14 loss to Gundagai on Sunday.
HARD HIT: James Luff goes in low to bring down Pat Guthrie in Gundagai’s win over Junee in the Group Nine qualifying final at Anzac Park on Sunday. Picture: Les Smith
While waiting scans to confirm, Hands believes he damaged his pectoral tendon after trying to take down Brett Eccleston early in the second half.
It would mean an end to his year and creates a massive hurdle for the Diesels to climbwhen they host Albury on Saturday.
“I’m pretty sure the pec tendon is gone so that will be me gone for the year,” Hands said.“It’s disappointing but that is footy.
“I’ve been around footy long enough to know she is not much good.”
While he is contemplating surgery later in the week,Hands is now looking for the team to regroup when their season goes on the line.
He was encouraged by the first half performance asthe Dieselswere on top for most of the first 30 minutesbefore a late try saw them goinginto the break at 10-all.
However things soon unravelled as a mistake from the restart was compounded by Hands’ injury.
“At half-time we spoke about how the game was there to be won and we just had to earn it,” Hands said.
“It was disappointing finish butwe just couldn’t get the footy in the second half and a side like them is good enough to take their opportunities.
“The pleasing thing is we get another crack at Albury next week and we know they will be tough.”
The venue for the clash is yet to be determined with Loftus Oval the frontrunner.
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