Saturday’s penultimate fixture of a draining Qualifying League campaign provided Portadown with another example of the inconsistency which has disrupted progress this season.
The 28-15 reverse to Cooke at Chambers Park arrived off the back of two consecutive league wins, with last weekend’s result proving the final block in hopes of a top-four finish.
“We have had too many average days and been too inconsistent,” said Richard Hedley, the head coach. “We just did not tackle and it is strange because the exact same players produced leading up to Saturday.
“There was a big crowd down and we dominated early on but they just seemed to stop.
“We lacked the application to turn it around in the second half and that inconsistency is obviously something we need to look at for down the line.
“Certain players did put in a shift, as usual, but too many failed and that result has cost us a chance of fourth.
“Our games against sides towards the bottom have been awful this season but then, when up against those in the top, the performance levels have gone up.
“Certain teams in this division can manage to win if playing good or bad but we cannot so need to review our approach.”
Portadown close out the campaign on Saturday, March 21 at home to Ballyclare.
“I want to put out a side that plays good rugby each week,” said Hedley. “The bottom line is we do not just come up with a style out of the blue and it is a gameplan in place to suit the players.
“I believe in the talent here and the coaching team will continue to keep trying to put in place a certain way of playing.
“We have had injury issues this season, especially with some of the young players.
“However, we still have the quality to move the ball and produce rugby people want to come down to watch.
“We just need to analyse why we have been so inconsistent and try to turn that around as certain problems have only become factors this season.”