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Eagles throw away 16-0 first half lead and coach is not happy

Eagles coach Richard Barnes was anything but happy after his team went down 24-20 to the Guildford Owls on the weekend.

“I won’t comment on this game at the moment; I’m going to go back and look at the video and especially our defence,’’ said Barnes after watching his team throw away a 16-0 half time lead in the grand final replay at Guildford.

“To say I’m massively disappointed is an understatement,’’ the coach said.

“We are a way better team than what we produced in the second half.’’

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom from Barnes, who added: “I know our guys and we can bounce back from this.”

The Eagles were full of running in the first half, but fell away in the last 40 minutes. Photos by Brett Atkins

Eagles have now dropped to fourth, three points behind second spot and eight points behind runaway leaders Cabramatta.

They will take on Sydney University this weekend in a must win match as the competition enters the business end of the season.

There’s a general bye for all teams the following weekend, and in round 22 the Eagles host second placed Saints at Waminda, followed by away games against ninth placed Bulls and 11th placed Brothers to complete the home and away part of the premiership.

The Eagles are capable of winning all four remaining matches and snatching at least second spot going into the finals to defend their crown.

No doubt Barnes will be having a few things to say to the boys at training this week about the importance of playing for the full 80 minutes.

Against the Guildford Owls it was an arm wrestle in the opening 20 minutes, and neither team were able to post any points.

Eagles captain Mason Talolua drew first blood when he crossed for a try and Sean Connor converted for a 6-0 lead to the boys from Campbelltown.

The Eagles then injected their left centre strike weapon Alex Potifara, who bagged two tries in 10 minutes.

When the teams trundled off for half time, the Eagles were leading 16-0 and looking set to go on with it in the second stanza.

But the opposite happened and the home side dominated the second half to such an extent they walked away with a 24-20 victory and the vital premiership points.

The Eagles crossed for a consolation try and their only points in the second half, but it was too little, too late.

Best for the Eagles was John Da Silva and Mason Talolua, while the players’ player went to Grant Lahey and best and fairest went to Alex Potifara.

The Eagles will take on Sydney Uni at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday at 1pm, while the East Campbelltown Eagles U17, reserve grade and U23 will play their Indigenous Rounds at Waminda “Tint Me Up’’ Oval this Sunday with games starting from 10am

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