It was a tough day for the Greater Northern Tigers at Farrer on Saturday, with the under-16 and under-18 sides hamstringing themselves with mistake-ridden performances against the Central Coast.
In the under-16 Andrew Johns Cup clash, the Tigers burst out of the blocks to lead 10-0, but then lost their way in a 22-14 loss.
The Tigers' under-18 outfit also had a positive start in their Laurie Daley Cup encounter, with exciting No 6 Mitchell Henderson floating a lovely long ball for winger Harrison Freeman to score in the corner in the fifth minute.
But the Central Coast Roosters hit back quickly and went on to win 26-16.
For the 18s, it was a return to reality to a thud after they opened the annual competition with a 32-4 defeat of the Knights in Maitland. While the 16s will be looking for their first win when Greater Northern travels to Port Macquarie on Saturday to meet the North Coast Bulldogs.
Tigers under-16 coach Steve Haylen was a frustrated man post-match, describing the result as "very disappointing".
"We got into the game very early, but just with a heap of silly mistakes we made it too hard for ourselves," he said.
"The sad thing about our boys is they're a good bunch of fellas that can play football [but] some of them haven't realised that yet. When they start doin' the good things, they gotta keep goin' with it: too much inconsistency."
Before a good crowd on a hot morning at John Simpson Oval, the under-16s led 10-0 after 16 minutes via tries to prop Jake Clydsdale and hooker Aiden Bermingham, before the Roosters hit back with two unanswered tries to lead 12-10 at half-time.
Two more Roosters tries in the 40th and 47th minutes to winger Ty Harris and lock Bryce Davis gave the visitors a matching-winning 22-10 lead.
On Friday, Tigers under-18 coach Tom Learoyd-Lahrs said his side had to improve their completion rate. They defeated the Knights despite what the former NRL star said was a completion rate of only 59 per cent.
Against a big, mobile Roosters outfit, an increasingly frustrated Greater Northern paid a heavy toll for a litany of handling errors.
Pre-match, Learoyd-Lahrs had warned that Central Coast had the firepower to "make us pay if we don't turn up", and that is exactly what happened.
Perhaps the most telling illustration of that fact occurred when prop Mackenzie Zammit crashed over in the 52nd minute to give the Roosters a 20-10 lead following Witika Rees-Hatu's conversion. The try came soon after a Tigers handling error deep in Central Coast's half, when the Roosters had two players in the bin.
Central Coast led 14-10 at half-time.
Andrew Johns Cup:
Central Coast 22 (B Taylor, L Bissaker, T Harris, B Davis tries; Bissaker 3 goals) d Greater Northern14 (J Clydsdale, A Bermingham, L Hippi tries; M Kemp goal)
Laurie Daley Cup:
Central Coast 26 (B Vallance 2, Witika Rees-Hatu, G Wilson, M Zammit tries; Rees-Hatu 2, B Jones goals) d Greater Northern 16 (H Freeman, D Kelly, B Reid tries; M Henderson 2 goals)