CITY may have fallen just short, but coach Brad Fittler was impressed by how the young team adapted to the big game situation at Equex Centre on Sunday.
With an average age of 23, Fittler wanted the young team to back themselves and was pleased with how they did that that.
“I thought our first half was very impressive,” he said.
“They soaked up pressure early.
“You’ve got to remember they were very young and we had eight blokes who were debutantes.”
Coming away to a 10-0 lead was the best possible start, but Fittler thought they struggled in patches as Country got back on top and it cost them.
“When they came back in waves we didn’t really handle that well,” Fittler said.
“We had to react better.
“But overall they played some really entertaining footy.
“And the good thing from my point of view was they kept backing each other.”
With three tries in the game Fittler was impressed with how Blake Austin stood up when his team needed some inspiration.
“I thought he (Austin) handled the pressure really well,” Fittler said.
“Jimmy Maloney was a stand-out from that point of view – his kicking game was great and his goalkicking obviously made an impression.
“But if you needed someone to win the game Blake could be your man.
“He was setting up space and following the ball.”
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