Roos prevail in scrappy affair
Monday, 13th May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
South recorded their 32nd consecutive win on Saturday at the Jubilee Oval but it wasn’t without a fight against a tough Robins outfit.
West had first use of a 3-4 goal breeze going towards the scoreboard end of the oval and they took immediate advantage with young Robin Brock Ellis kicking his side’s first major inside the first minute of the match.
The game tightened up from then on with neither side able to establish control. Despite kicking with the wind, West started with Jackson Ruddock as their loose man in defence which freed up Riley Schorn to do the same for South.
Cody Schorn opened South’s account but Cohen Turner gave West the advantage late in the term with his first goal of the afternoon as the Robins led by eight points at quarter time.
It was now South’s chance with the breeze and while they enjoyed most of the play, West’s defence held up well. The Roos kicked three goals for the term - one to Jordan Johns and a couple to junior livewire Adam Slattery - and showed glimpses of their best but only led by 11 points at halftime.
That margin was reduced early in the second half as a poor effort by South to clear the ball in defence led to Turner’s second goal although it was one of his few highlights on a day where he was outplayed by South defender Angus Collins.
The Roos hit back through skipper Marc Purcell, who had been very quiet until this point, following a hard-ball win at centre-half forward, and South enjoyed the run of play for a period of time but again West held firm.
Eventually the Robins were able to turn the tide and made it count with goals to Ty Andrews and Robert Bates to trail by just three points going into the final change.
Just as it looked like a thrilling finish was in store, controversy ensued at the beginning of the final quarter as West had an extra man on the field for the first bounce. The offending player quickly ran from the field and had no impact on the 15 seconds of play that had occurred but play was stopped.
Had a headcount taken place and it was found that West had too many players on the field, their score would have been wiped but fortunately common sense prevailed after umpires talked with the team captains and play was restarted.
Once play was back underway the teams traded the first couple of goals but it was South who eventually gained the upper hand and pulled away with their superior class and fitness late in the day.
Wade Gepp was shifted to full-forward, one of the many options that South tried there throughout the day, and it paid off with a goal and almost mark of the year. His athletic prowess and ability to play at both ends is so important to South’s success.
Cody Schorn’s influence on the game was restricted for the first three quarters thanks to a fantastic defensive effort by Heath Harris, however, Schorn was able to find space in the final term to kick two goals, as did Harley Cannard, to seal a 29-point win for the Roos.
Slattery was South’s other multiple goal kicker and finished with two for the day, both coming in the second term. Playing in just his second League game, Slattery looks at home inside the forward fifty with his silky skills and great hands at ground level.
Ruckman Mitchell Henderson was again a standout for South. While Matt Nelson was able to compete in the ruck, he was no match for Henderson around the ground particularly as the game wore on.
With Purcell well tagged by Michael Westley and Daniel Milne at various points through the day, Jordan Johns and Matt Reavill stepped up in the midfield, especially after halftime, and their efforts allowed South to gain the ascendancy.
Collins’ work on Turner was fantastic as he quelled the key-forward’s influence and won many of their one-on-one contests including a brilliant tackle in the opening term that saved a certain goal.
Jake Crozier played his best game so far for his new club and relished his role on the wing while Harris’ first three quarters on Schorn was top-notch. Andrews, Nelson and Nathan Greenshields also contributed strongly for the Robins.
West’s much-vaunted midfield group had their colours lowered on Saturday and they’ll be looking to bounce back quickly against the win-less Magpies next week while South stay at the Jubilee Oval to play North.
South - C. Schorn 3, A. Slattery 2, H. Cannard 2, W. Gepp, J. Johns, M. Purcell
West - C. Turner 2, T. Andrews, B. Beattie, B. Ellis, R. Bates
South - M. Henderson, A. Collins, J. Johns, M. Reavill, R. Schorn, A. Slattery
West - J. Crozier, H. Harris, T. Andrews, M. Nelson, N. Greenshields, T. Rowe