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Roos hammer young Magpies

Monday, 25th July, 2011

ROO SPIRIT: Marc Purcell kicked three goals for South and was judged its best player on Saturday. ROO SPIRIT: Marc Purcell kicked three goals for South and was judged its best player on Saturday.

A ruthless South taught their younger, less experienced Central opponents a lesson on Saturday with a 94-point thrashing at the Alma Oval.

The loss all but consigns Central to the football cellar for 2011. Mathematically, they can still play finals but even the most ardent Central supporter would regard that notion as foolish.

The signs were ominous early for the Magpies and, apart from a few brief periods, they were never in the hunt against an outfit that is building in confidence and form.

Before the game South’s coach Robert Hickey discarded the blackboard and had his side go through a series of drills at the adjacent Alma School grounds.

Whatever he did, it certainly worked as the Roos, led by an explosive mid field, had too much pace and class for the depleted Magpies.

The unlikely pairing of Marc Purcell and Daniel Magin were the destroyers. Rotating as part of a talented on ball mix, they played the best footy of their careers. Throw in Heath Caldwell, Alan Mackiewicz, John Dunn, Marcus O’Brien and Bill Dolan and you can see why South are September-bound.

The only sour note for the Roos was the third quarter report of Dolan who was issued with a red card and offered a one match suspension for striking under the prescribed penalties system.

The pattern of the match was set in the first quarter where South kicked to the airport end and had seven goals on the board before the first break,

The drive from Purcell, who booted two early goals, was noticeable. Schorn looked dangerous up forward with two goals of his own while Dylan Bow across half back was picking up plenty of leather.

The South coaching panel started Ty Corey at centre half back as they worked with him in an attempt to re-discover some lost form, while Central had McClure running with Dolan.

The Magpies booted three goals in the opening term but missed a couple of easy shots. It was the usual combination of Heath and Camilleri in the middle who were providing the spark.

It was an entertaining 30 minutes of football with 10 goals kicked but the writing was on the wall and you could sense the missed shots were going to come back to haunt Central. 

Quarter Time: South 7-5 (46) Central 3-3 (21)

The second quarter saw the match tighten up. Weller at full forward for South came into his own when he set Purcell up for his third goal before the Tasmanian recruit booted his first with a clever snap.

A highlight was a great mark and goal to Heath Caldwell who climbed right over the top of Brenton Zanette to grab a beauty.

Half Time: South 11-10 (76) Central 4-3 (27).

If things seemed more black than white for Central at half time then the next quarter was going to be one that would define their season and their fate in 2011.

In less than 30 minutes South kicked eight unanswered goals in what appeared to be a mere training run on a Saturday afternoon.

It seemed whatever coach Hickey did during the long break it worked. The move of Corey forward worked as he booted two goals. Magin was rewarded for his bullocking work on the wing with two goals while Simon O’Brien roosted a thumper from 60 metres to put the icing on the cake.

I must also credit the South backline of Vlatko, Bow, Bird and Staker who were outstanding with their defensive work and rebound.

For the Magpies it was Zanette and Schinckel holding their back six together. Camilleri and Heath were trying their best while McClure was freed of minding Billy Dolan and was picking up possessions.

Three Quarter Time: South 19-12 (126) Central 4-3 (27).

The final quarter saw Central at least fly the flag as they outscored South three goals to two but it was too little to late. 

In fairness, this Magpie team is but a shadow of the combination that swept all before it only 12 months ago. I could only count nine players who took the field on Saturday that were part of the 2010 premiership team.

While the losers contemplate the last five rounds in the other change rooms you could not believe the change in attitude and confidence from two weeks ago when South had just registered three losses in a row.

For Robert Hickey life seems a lot rosier.

“We are starting to get some numbers back on the park. That three-week period when it went real cold we were lucky to have six players at training within a squad of 32 players, and as you seen on the footy field on Saturdays, we were playing like we trained so now the numbers are back on the track our skills are up,” Hickey said. 

It was a special day for South mid fielder John Dunn. He was at the hospital 12 hours before the game as his fiance gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. He then had a few hours’ sleep before coming out to play a pivotal role in the Roos win with three goals.

The man known as “Spike” was a tired but elated player after the game.

“I definitely wanted to choose the baby over footy but seeing it came out early and I had plenty of sleep I was right to play,” he said. 

We now prepare for Saturday when South play North. People talk about traditional rivals in Broken Hill but these teams have a history like no another and Jubilee Oval will be the place to be.

For Central, their future is in their hands, according to caretaker coach Gavin Blows: “The finals are still alive and active for us. It is about getting on the training track, getting the right attitude and having a fair dinkum crack.”

Time is ticking for the Magpies.


SOUTH - Marc Purcell, Daniel Magin, Mick Vlatko, Heath Caldwell, Dylan Bow, Allan Mackiewicz, John Dunn, Marcus O’Brien, Arlen Bird, Billy Dolan.

CENTRAL - Brenton Zanette, Digby Schnickel, Justin Heath, Ben Camilleri, James McClure, Murray Bullen.


SOUTH - Marc Purcell 3, John Dunn 3, Cody Schorn 2, Marcus O’Brien 2, Tyson Weller 2, Ty Corey 2, Daniel Magin 2, Jordan Staker, Heath Caldwell, Billy Dolan, Simon O’Brien, Allan Mackiewicz.

CENTRAL - Alec Bray 2, Curtis Jelbert, Jamie Berg, Murray Bullen, Adam Rhodes, Matt Goodlet.


SOUTH 27-15 (177) CENTRAL 3.0 (18)  


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