TRU coaching director Chris Noble believes Tasmania are just “moments” away from a maiden interstate win after reflecting on last week's Australian Rugby Shield tournament.
The Jack Jumpers lead QLD Suburban 16-14 in their final match but conceded a length-of-the-field try late in the piece, eventually falling 21-16.
Noble said the heartbreak perfectly summed up their four-game campaign.
“There were a few key moments where we just kicked the ball away late when we should’ve held onto it, so that one (against QLD Suburban) hurts a bit.”
“Our whole tournament has been about moments and we haven’t won those moments – that last game was another classic example.
“Sure, we were beaten soundly in some of those earlier games but there’s not a huge amount of difference between our team and others – it’s just about taking those moments and good teams bury you if you can’t take yours.”
Tasmania nevertheless became crowd favourites across the week at Ballymore with non-playing sides cheering the underdog Jack Jumpers on for their expansive style of play and never-say-die attitude.
The Jack Jumpers also crossed the tryline in all four games with Matt Noble, Jone Chand, James Holman, Peni Vae and Oli Bird etching their name in TRU history while captain TJ Pieters and lock Tenaka Harrison stood tall all tournament.
“You certainly can’t fault our attitude and enthusiasm,” Noble said.
“There was this great moment playing against (eventual runners up) Perth when we were well down and they’d scored with two minutes to go but we didn’t slow down, we ran back to halfway and wanted to play out those last few minutes.
“Sure, there’s some skill deficiencies and size deficiencies which we’ll work on the off-season and the intensity of the game up there just doesn’t compare to our Tassie competition.
“But we’ll just keep working hard, committing to our shape in defence, our skill execution and our work rate.
“Just about everyone in this squad is committed to coming back again next year so we’re excited to see where we can do and what we can do with this side.”