Todd Edwards has no idea what he has done to the rugby league gods.
But they refuse to give him a break when it matters most.
For the fifth time in his career, the Lakes United coach found himself on the losing side in a grand final and he admits he is starting to wonder if he is ever going to win one.
“Yeah, look it’s disappointing but they don’t give these things away,” Edwards said after his side’s 30-18 loss.
“I’ve had five chances and they just don’t hand them over. You’ve got to have a lot go your way when you get to these games and we just can’t seem to find that something needed to get over the line.
“Maybe it won’t ever happen. But I’m not about to stop trying.”
Edwards’ grand final tale of woe began in 2008 when he lost three consecutive deciders with Cessnock.
A fourth defeat followed in 2012. Ironically, he is headed back to the Goannas as coach next season.
“They don’t get any easier to swallow,”he said.
“It’s hard at the moment – hard to take in. I suppose I should be used to it but that doesn’t make it any easier.
“I’ve lost five and none are any easier to take than the others.”
But it was his players that Edwards felt for more than himself.
“I’m really disappointed for the boys more than anything because I thought they deserved a little bit more than they got,”he said.
“We have jumped over plenty of hurdles this season just to get here so to put up such a fight and fall short – I’m just shattered for the kids here. But all you can do is dust yourself off and go again.”
Lakes ran with a howling southerly at their backs in the first half but butchered some chances to only lead 10-8 at halftime.
It was always going to be a backs-to-the-wall effort to hold out the Lions from there.
“We had our opportunities. We just didn’t take them unfortunately,” Edwards said.
“The first half especially, we took some dumb options. Our control was poor at times, some discipline let us down and a lack of patience probably cost us.
“The wind was always going to make it difficult for us in the second half and South are a very good team. They are well-drilled and were always going to come at us.”
Edwards said he has bitter-sweet emotions about cutting short his association with Lakes to head back to his home club next season.
“The travel has been really tough and I made the decision four months ago and I’ve made it so we move on,” he said.
“I’m going back to Cessnock to hopefully try and improve things at the club and taking a leaf out of this mob [Lakes] would be a good start.
“This is a very good footy club this one with a strong committee and some very good kids who have given it their all during the season.
“It would have been nice to leave them with something to cherish but it wasn’t to be.”
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