A FIFTEEN minute window of less than stellar football cost the Ararat Rat's senior side the match on the weekend, vice captain Corey Taylor said.
The side clashed with the hosting Southern Mallee Giants for the Wimmera League's round 15 and Taylor, who kicked five goals for the Rats, said up until the third quarter the score had been neck and neck.
"It was just 15 minutes in the third quarter which cost us the game," he said.
"We were a goal up at half time (38 to 32) and then we came out and a couple of decisions didn't go our way in the third quarter.
"The Giants kicked about four or five goals in a row in that 15 minute period and we just couldn't quite get back the margin from there on in."
Despite a strong remaining third, and solid fourth quarter the Rats' fate had been sealed.
"We were able to come back in the later stages of the third quarter and the fourth was very much ... goal for goal for most of it," Mason said. "In the fourth we kicked about four or five goals."
It's almost never one thing that puts a team behind but Mason speculated on a couple of points that may have let the Rats down.
"We dropped off a bit in the intensity and pressure but overall we played pretty well on Saturday," he said. "It was probably just our pressure. Concentration was another one."
The outcome speaks to the Rats continued push to play a consistently strong four quarters - something all teams strive to do.
"When you play against the top three or four sides in our league it's very even, so the team that is able to string four quarters together and have no lapses in the game is generally the team that will come out on top," Mason said.
"They (SM Giants) play a very physical round of footy, so when they haven't got the ball they're quite physical and the run the ball very quickly.
"Once they get the footy, they get it across the centre line very quick. They also kick very straight - I think we had two more scoring shots than they did but their accuracy was greater than ours."
There was plenty of good to take away from the match though, Mason said.
"We got back to playing the type and style of footy we want to play on the weekend, and there are lots of positives in playing last week. We're looking forward to building on what we were able to build on the weekend, and keep putting our best foot forward."
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