Miserly West strangle North
Monday, 27th May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
Another superb defensive display has led the Robins to their fourth win of the season as they defeated North by 44 points at the Jubilee Oval in Sydney.
West kept the Bulldogs to just three goals, and 27 points in total, and it was the fourth time in five games that they have restricted their opponents to 35 points or less.
While it would turn into a one-sided affair, the first 15 minutes of the game belonged to North as they controlled possession and territory but were unable to hit the scoreboard.
This was mostly due to West’s resolute defence led by Ty Andrews who seemed to be everywhere in the first quarter and took a number of telling intercept marks. Fellow backmen Josh Cieslik was also important in the first term.
Eventually, the Robins were able to wrestle back the momentum and were the first to kick a goal thanks to Cohen Turner in the 15th minute of the game. That was quickly followed by goals to Tom Rowe and Brock Ellis as they opened up a 19-point lead at the first change.
Both sides struggled with a significant cross-breeze blowing towards the old brewery side of the Jube. That saw a lot of missed kicks and some poor disposal efficiency as players tried to adjust to the conditions.
West stamped their authority on the game early in the second term with back-to-back goals from Turner and Jake Trengove to extend their lead to 30 points.
There was finally something for those on the North bleachers to cheer about when Anthony Henderson pounced on a poor kick out from West to slot his first, and only, goal of the match halfway through the quarter.
Much of the talk leading up to this game was about Henderson closing in on the North all-time goal-kicking record. At the start of the day, he needed two goals to equal and three to go past Jason Simmons but he’ll have to wait a few weeks to have another opportunity.
North had a few chances throughout this term but again the West defence held firm with Lachie Harvey putting in a number of great efforts along with the continued form of Andrews. As well as their defence, West’s midfield was well on top around the stoppages.
Robins on-baller Jayden White went forward late to kick his first goal of the day and extend his side’s lead to 28 points going into halftime.
In the third term North showed glimpses of the form that saw them easily defeat South last Saturday but it wasn’t consistent. Shane Dalby booted their second goal of the match and Ben Clements, aided by a free kick and two fifty-metre penalties, kicked their third.
Despite those goals West were still able to win the quarter and extend their lead thanks to goals from Nathan Greenshields, Jayden Sutton and co-captain Liam King.
With the Robins up by 34 points, Turner sealed the win with his third goal of the day early in the last. West had the chance to really sink the boot in during this quarter but their accuracy deserted them as they kicked 1.6 compared to 9.5 across the first thee quarters.
North managed to get their hands on the ball at times but couldn’t get it past halfway due to West’s defensive structure, which was the case throughout the day. The margin was only 44 points but the Bulldogs were never seriously in this game after quarter-time.
The form that saw North defeat South last weekend was nowhere to be found on Saturday and their disposal by foot, which was a key to their win against the Roos, was incredibly poor.
Tyler McInnes was North’s standout player as he tried to run and create whenever he had the chance while veteran defender Brett Johnson found plenty of the ball and used it well. Quinton Beavan battled hard in the middle, as did Trent Barraclough in the ruck.
As you would expect, West had strong contributors all over the field. Andrews was fantastic down back and had great support from Cieslik and Harvey as well as Hagen Grose who shut down Henderson.
Their midfield group of Rowe, Greenshields, White, King, Daniel Milne and ruckman Matt Nelson were very important and set up the win with their work around the stoppages.
The competition now has two weeks off although some players from both sides will have the chance to play for Broken Hill next weekend in the Miners Cup in Roxby Downs.