West’s windy win
Friday, 9th August, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
West absorbed some early pressure by the Bulldogs before running away to a dominant 75-point win on a wet and windy Wednesday night at the Jubilee Oval.
The ladder leaders were under the pump in the opening stages as the Bulldogs brought the heat and controlled the play, scoring the first goal through Bailey Adams. West finally settled after Suni Forner booted their first goal halfway through the term and they got the game back on an even keel.
With the scores tied after a very competitive first term, West broke the shackles in the second as a quick clearance and goal to Jack Burke within the opening minute set the tone.
That was followed by goals to Forner, Bailey Beattie, Jonty Campbell, Flynn Muray and Kingsley Hocking as West swiftly put themselves ahead by 38 points heading into halftime.
The Robins had taken control around the stoppages thanks to the tap work of Beattie and the efforts of rovers Bryce Cieslik and Jayden Sutton. They led the centre-clearances 7-3 and the overall clearances 13-6.
With the second half about to get underway, conditions started to get a bit wild with a strong breeze to the city end of the ground, bringing with it some steady rain that stayed throughout the latter part of the match.
West controlled the third term but were going against the wind, making scoring quite tough. Eventually Jack Burke kicked his second goal of the night before Cooper Burke and Beattie also added majors inside the last couple of minutes of the quarter.
Leading by 61 points with 15 minutes to play, things could have become very ugly for the Bulldogs with West now kicking with a 5-6 goal breeze but it was North who hit the scoreboard first through Rogan Turner.
From there, however, the game was played at one end as West had 11 inside fifties to North’s two. Despite this dominance West only managed two goals and eight behinds as their accuracy deserted them.
In the end it was an easy 75-point victory to the Robins as they continue to prepare for another grand final.
Jack Burke, Forner and Beattie all finished with two goals apiece but it was Cieslik and Sutton who set up the win with their work around the stoppages. Occasionally West were guilty of overusing the football but overall it was a pretty complete performance.
For the Bulldogs, Turner was their standout. He found a lot of the ball, mainly in defence but worked up the field as well. Dan Kennedy produced another consistent effort while Jakarda Cini cracked in as usual. Tom McRae wasn’t at his best but still contributed, as did Blake Gebhardt.
The Robins dominated the inside fifty count 36-14 and the clearances 26-6. North’s tried hard all night and that was typified in the tackle numbers in which North led 44-23.
West will have to be smart in managing their players so that everyone is fit and firing for August 28. They went into this clash without key players Nick Schofield, Jacob Johnstone and Blake Rogers, as well as the suspended Brock Ellis, and they might use next week to freshen up the likes of Sutton, Jack Burke and Kingsley Hocking to name a few.
North’s season comes down to next week against Central with the winner taking the last finals spot to face South in the preliminary final.
WEST: 1.1 7.4 10.8 12.16 (88) def NORTH: 1.1 1.1 1.1 2.1 (13)
West - J. Burke 2, S. Forner 2, B. Beattie 2, J. Burke, F. Murray, K. Hocking, J. Campbell, J. Sutton, C. Burke
North - R. Turner, B. Adams
West - B. Cieslik, J. Sutton, B. Beattie, S. Forner, Jack Burke, W. Squire
North - R. Turner, D. Kennedy, J. Cini, T. McRae, B. Gebhardt, B. Adams