A SEASON ending "steady as we go" mentality has cost the Condamine Cods A-grade a place in the finals, according to captain and club president Doug McNicholl.
Despite walloping the UQ Gatton Black Pigs 41-0 on Saturday, a loss to the runner-up wooden-spooners in the first round had come back to bite hard.
The Cods A-grade would not play finals regardless of this weekend's result against Toowoomba City Bears.
McNicholl said if his team had adopted a "winning culture" from game one, they would more likely be lining up for a trophy game.
"It's your mindset and club culture that makes the difference in winning or losing the 50/50 games throughout the season," he said.
"You can't afford to lose to sides that are below you on the table, if you do you damage your finals chances.
"Our season was ultimately defined by a loss in the first round."
The Cods' solid weekend performance at the Fish Tank was a far cry from their injury racked first round loss.
McNicholl said the team's pack dominance was key to the win, and it created the perfect platform of attack for the backs.
He said the winning margin should have been even greater, with only 3 of the team's seven tries converted.
Flanker Brendan Sexton was named best on field.
UQ Gatton forfeited the B grade match and the Chinchilla River Rats had a bye.
The Cods' B-grade will face off against Toowoomba City Bears this weekend but regardless of the result the team will play in finals fixtures.
McNicholl said the B-grade team were real contenders for the premiership this year.
"They're a very competitive side and I think they'll be right up there with Dalby and Goondiwindi," he said.
The Rats will battle the Bears for third place in the C-grade competition.
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