An emotional Titans captain Tino Fasumaleui has taken full responsibility for his team’s defeat, admitting he was not sure about the rules when handling a crucial kick-off error.
“Just dumb,” coach Justin Holbrooke said after chronicling a few mistakes during their embarrassing fall against arch-rivals Brisbane.
The decision to go for a short kick-off despite a 14-point increase was particularly eye-popping, and for which Fa’asumaleui was responsible.
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“I stuffed up. Jamaine wanted to go taller, and I thought there was a chance to go shorter,” he told reporters.
“I didn’t realize it would go above 10 and where to catch it, and then I missed the tackle. For that I put my hand up, I dropped the boys and failed them.”
Fasumaleui said he did not realize that the ball could be captured as soon as it traveled 10 meters, even though it was still in the air – he thought he needed to bounce before picking up the ball.
Instead, Brisbane pounced and made a second attempt within minutes.
“I didn’t understand the rules,” he admitted.
“Before you knew it, they were under the post. I raised my hand for it. It’s unfair on the boys. I let them down.”
To run more than 200 meters alone in the first half, the captain may be a little tough on himself due to his extremely hard work, but it is a little comfort after throwing another big lead.
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“Your first half can always be good, but in the second half you have to back it up.
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“While all the guys are looking for their leaders in games like this, you and especially me and our leadership crew have to move on. We didn’t step foot tonight,” he said of their second-half performance.
“It’s a game we could have won, and obviously we let it slip.”
His coach agreed, and wondered how another great leadership had evaporated.
“We were in a great position to win the game tonight, we were in a great position,” Holbrooke said.
“We’ve found a way to get rid of it, which is hard to get.”
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