Dogs run down Robins
Monday, 29th July, 2013
North tightened their grip on the 2013 minor premiership with a hard fought 40-point win over the Robins on Saturday.
The Robins lost Brent Rose before the game and he was replaced by Ben McInerney, and the Bulldogs hit an early snag when Codie Howard injured a calf in the warm-up. While he took his place in the side midway through the opening term, his day was over.
The Robins won the toss and kicked to the city end in the opening term with a blustery breeze favouring that end.
The Bulldogs got the better start with early goals to Beaven and youngster Tiziani to open up a 13-point lead. It took a while but when the Robins found some clean possession they moved the ball quickly inside forward 50 and they soon found some reward with goals to Hall and Tonkin to trail by two points.
A late goal to Rayner was enough to give the Bulldogs an 8-point lead at the first change.
It was now North’s turn with that slight breeze and although it took a while to post their first major, it was worth waiting for as Hack, deep in the tuck shop pocket (some say he grabbed a handful of lollies on his way past) slotted through a beauty which opened the gates for North.
They slammed on four goals in seven minutes with Hack kicking three and all of a sudden the margin was out to 34 points.
North controlled the term with the midfield playing a starring role. The quarter eneded with Caldwell kicking his second and the Bulldogs went into the long break with a handy 40-point lead.
The Robins needed to respond and they did with Ryan kicking the first. They lifted their work rate and they were closing the Bulldogs down.
After 15 minutes the Robins had worked hard for little reward but the next 10 to 12 minutes the rewards came thick and fast.
Cowan kicked his first and that sparked the Robins. Two goals to Martin inside two minutes saw the margin reduced to just 18 points with the Robins on the attack.
When Ryan kicked his second for the term the margin was just 13 points and it was the half time siren that stopped the Robins’ drive.
West had kept the Bulldogs goalless for the term while kicking five themselves and they could sense that it was again game on with one term remaining.
The Bulldogs received the perfect start when Johnson goaled inside the opening minute and the lead was out 19 points again.
The Robins made a real scrap of the next 10 minutes but they went unrewarded again until the acting skipper stepped up and goaled and the margin was again 13 points.
At this stage the game erupted with a huge melee in front of the grandstand - with so many spot fires throughout the day things had to come to boiling point.
Players from both sides traded punches and wrestling techniques but the Bulldogs recovered the better, with Hack and Johnson again getting amongst the goals and they increased the margin to 25 points.
The Bulldogs had finely broken the Robins and late goals to Hack and Caldwell was enough to see them home by 40 points. The final margin was probably a little flattering to the Bulldogs, but 40 points says it was a good win.
North’s midfield was again dominant with Caldwell, Johnson and Kelly high in North’s best while Pressler and Napier were excellent down back.
The Robins were well served by Naden, Zanette and Harris who got better as the game went on.
Over the next couple of weeks you will see the Robins resting players in preparation for the finals, while for the Bulldogs each and every player will be playing for his spot with up to nine players to return.
But for now, next week is the challenge for both sides.
North - H. Caldwell, B. Johnson, J. Kelly, Q. Beaven, B. Pressler, J. Napier.
West - J. Naden, D. Zanette, N. Agius, L. King, N. Kickett, H. Harris.
North - T. Hack 5, H. Caldwell 3, B. Johnson 2, Q. Beaven, L.Tiziani, N. Rayner.
West - B. Martin 2, C. Ryan 2, S. Hall, J. Tonkin, D. Cowan, B. McInerney.
West 5.13 (43)
North 4.7 (31)
North 10.13 (73)
West 2.0 (12)