THE Maccabi Rugby Club has ended its up-and-down season on a sour note, missing out on a finals berth after a 57-27 loss to Fairvale/Lansvale in a do-or-die clash at Waverley Oval on the weekend.
With the coveted fifth and final spot up for grabs for both teams, Maccabi’s undermanned side was unable to keep up with its opposition.
“Most of our guys are still travelling overseas, so we had a combination of our first and second team in,” head coach Glen Ella told The AJN.
“It went right down to the end – they got away from us, but the guys who played were outstanding.
“If we had our first team we would have smashed them, but I’m not complaining about that … and it was a good experience for the [Seconds] guys and they’ll be better for it.”
Maccabi finished the season in seventh spot on eight wins and eight losses, five points off the top five.
Having been forced to forfeit three matches with the majority of the team in Israel for the Maccabiah Games, Ella believes it was a credit to his team to finish as high as it did.
“We couldn’t have done any more than what we did,” said Ella.
“We had a bit of a disrupted season with guys being injured, but that’s the way it goes.”
Looking ahead to 2014, Ella is still considering whether he will return to Maccabi.
“Ever since I finished playing – which is about 15 years ago – I’ve been coaching and it’s been non-stop,” Ella said.
“[My wife] has been saying to have a bit of a rest, but I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow, let alone next year.”
Ella was, however, adamant that whether the side is under his guidance or not, they will be a real challenger come finals time next year.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll be alright [next year],” he said.
“We have a couple of players that are retiring, who have done really well for the club and then to get to Maccabiah, but we’ve got some good players standing by to come in.”
Photo: Bruce Palme Photography