Kevin Walters watched the Brisbane Lions lose the AFL Grand Final in heartbreaking circumstances on Saturday and thought that’s not a nice way to lose.
Unfortunately for him and his Broncos from the Queensland capital, they suffered the same fate after Penrith stormed back from a 24-8 deficit to record the biggest NRL Grand Final comeback of all time.
Walters is usually the NRL’s most upbeat coaches but he was shattered in the post-match media conference, saying they should have won the game but need to get better with their starts and finishes.
“There’s no emotion in there. It’s very quiet,” he said when asked about the mood in the Brisbane sheds.
“It’s just hard to get your head around what actually happened. It’s very disappointing. I feel for all the players in there that gave so much but it wasn’t enough in the end.
“I think the whole stadium thought we’d done enough. Right now it’s a pretty empty feeling.
“Nathan Cleary was pretty good, to be fair, at the end of the game.”
Walters said when they fix a few issues in their game, they’ll win premierships.
“We’re not far off. As you saw tonight we’re getting there. We’re a lot closer now than we were 12 months ago.
The winner of multiple premierships for Brisbane in the No.6 jersey, Walters was impressed with Ezra Mam’s stunning three-try haul, describing it as a “superhuman” display from the 20-year-old.
“We know he’s a talented little player. He showed that tonight on the big stage,” he said.
“Everyone was trying really hard but sometimes the football gods take things away from you and they did that tonight.”
For a coach who entered the season under pressure to keep his job after the Broncos missed the playoffs in his first two years at the helm, Walters has all but silenced his critics after nearly slaying the Panthers juggernaut.
“We wanted to win a premiership and we didn’t get it and that pisses us off.”