LAVINGTON coach James Saker says the club has no choice but to learn from yesterday’s devastating one-point loss to Albury.
The Panthers coughed up a spot in the grand final when they spurned a 20-point final quarter lead in yesterday’s preliminary final.
The Panthers were left suitably shattered when the final siren rang, and none hurt more than their coach.
“I’m really numb,” Saker said in the moments after the loss.
“It’s an emotion I haven’t had before in sport, it’s tough.
“Unfortunately, the past three years we’ve lost knockout finals by a culmination of two kicks, or something.
“It’s just such a bloody great club and to an extent we’ve let it down by not finishing off a great game of footy.”
Despite the obvious disappointment, Saker said the Panthers had to wear the result.
“We’ve got to shoulder the burden together,” he said.
“There’s no other option for our club but to move forward.
“I hope it keeps the hunger there.
“I don’t want to make outlandish comments, with this emotion, and I want to sit back and watch the video.
“It will be tough but we’ve got no option but to learn from it.”
Saker said the Panthers couldn’t make any excuses for their final quarter lapse.
“We didn’t absorb their final onslaught as we should have,” he said.
“I said that to the playing group.
“We cracked in and tried really hard but we just didn’t make smart decisions when we had to in those last 10 minutes.
“Albury played an outstanding 10 minutes of footy and their quality came through.
“Quality we’d held for 90 per cent of the day.”