Roos look sharp

Saturday, 8th April, 2017

South skipper Michael Westley kicks out of defence last week. Westley will have more responsibility today without the likes of Jordan Johns or Drew Hardy in the team. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan South skipper Michael Westley kicks out of defence last week. Westley will have more responsibility today without the likes of Jordan Johns or Drew Hardy in the team. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

After a poor start last week, West will need a massive turnaround in form if they are to challenge South who were big winners in round one.

The Robins endured a tough start to the season with a 77-point loss to North and also lost one of their co-captains, Daniel Milne, to what looks to be a serious knee injury very early in the game. Milne underwent scans yesterday to find out the extent of the damage.

West started poorly, allowing North to take a 10-goal lead into half time and despite playing well in the third term, were never going to be able to come back.

Young players Jayden Sutton and Brock Ellis were impressive, as were senior men Liam King and Matt Nelson and the Robins showed glimpses of what they were capable of with some smart passages of play.

Missing today is Agnaldo De Silva as well as the big outs of Milne and Liam King. They’ve been replaced by exciting junior Danyon McLachlan-Menz, Alan Garry and all-round sportsman Max Everuss. 

South weren’t quite at their best in last week’s 80-point thumping of Central but such is their class that they were still able to pull off a huge win.

They started slowly but still took a one-point quarter time lead despite kicking into a strong breeze and then kicked on after that to rattle off a big victory over the Magpies. 

Cody Schorn, Marc Purcell, Jordan Johns and Marcus O’Brien all shined for the Roos. Schorn kicked four goals while O’Brien booted three. 

All the hallmarks of South’s play over the past few seasons were there with the slick ball movement, quick transition and clinical finishing although they mixed that with some scrappy passages of play which one would expect in the opening game of the season.

They’ll be better for the run and they’ll be looking for an even better performance today against a West team missing some of its bigger names.

South are also without some guns such as Johns, Arlen Bird and Drew Hardy while valuable utility Madden Paul will miss as well. In comes young gun Jye Smith and consistent Reserves performers Bryce Pollard, Sam Lines and Nick Brown who have all been named on the bench.

Things look tough here for the Robins without Milne and King, arguably their two best midfielders, against a South side that despite missing several key names still possesses the best spread of talent in the league.

Without Johns, Hardy and Bird, other South players will get the chance to step up. Jake Gepp and Cody Schorn will likely spend more time on the ball while Sam Edgecumbe will get his chance at centre-half forward. 

For West, they’ll need a monster effort today if they are to be competitive. Josh Cieslik showed glimpses of his talent last week without cashing in and that’s something he’ll need to do today while senior players Callum Rosewarn, Lachie Bell and Greg Conway must step up.