A dejected Tim Ryan says there's no point in Western kicking stones after a second-half flurry from Monaro relegated the Rams to an embarrassing 62-20 round one under 23s country championship loss.
Played at Pioneer Oval, Parkes, the home side showed plenty of grit throughout the opening 40 minutes and scored late in the term through Hayden Bolam to bring Monaro's back to 22-16 at oranges.
But an avalanche of points in the second stanza brought back some horrible memories for the Rams.
In the opening round of the 2017 country championship, the Colts ran riot in a 62-0 thrashing of the green and white division at Cowra.
Sunday's loss at Parkes wasn't as shattering, not after the promise displayed in the opening half.
Still, Ryan says his side's second-half fade was bitterly "disappointing" but the young Rams side would continue to fight ahead of next weekend's second round against the Greater Southern Region Wests Tigers at Bathurst.
"We can kick stones all we want but we definitely don't want to go out there next week and have the same result," Ryan said.
“There’s a good team in there," he added looking at the Western sheds.
"And that’s probably the most disappointing thing. There’s a lot of talent around western but over the last three years we’ve got no stats to back us up. So we have to keep on fighting.”
Despite only coming together as a group on Saturday, the visiting Colts hit the ground running in the opening term and scored with their first use of the ball through Zac Patch in just the third minute.
The Colts dominated proceedings from there but poor goal-kicking kept the hosts in the opening half. Former Macquarie Raiders flier and Monaro fullback Harry Van Dartel battled to find his range with the right boot, converting just one of five tries in the first 40 minutes.
Bolam's try gave Western a sniff but a host of errors and penalties gave Monaro chance after chance, and the visitors took full advantage.
Orange CYMS winger Travis Adelerhof bagged a double but it was only a flickering glimmer in an otherwise dark final stanza for the hosts.
“The talk at half-time was to improve on the first-half, so it’s disappointing you look back and now say the first-half was better," Ryan added.
“We didn’t have the ball for the last 20 minutes.”
Van Dartel was strong in his first game back in western and says his side's second half is just a glimpse of what Monaro is capable of.
“We haven’t played a game together so I think that first-half was us trying to work out who does what," he said.
“The second-half was good, we came out and gelled."
Van Dartel believes the 2017 country champions are on track to contend again in 2019.
“Everyone wants to win, but it’s good to gel as a group," he added.
"We only came together (on Saturday) and had a bit of a run. It’s a good stepping stone."