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Pies flying high

Monday, 17th May, 2010

Blake Clare was one of North's best, but he still couldn't stop a continued Central charge. Blake Clare was one of North's best, but he still couldn't stop a continued Central charge.

Centrals have opened up a 3 game buffer over North’s and remain undefeated for season 2010, after 5 rounds, with a strong four quarter team effort.

North’s were given the perfect start with their Reserves breaking through for a good win 10.11 (71) to the previously undefeated Centrals 6.4 (40).

North’s were also given one less headache when Ben Perkins and the new Wagga lad Glen Cole stayed bush for work. North’s lost Nathan Rayner before the game whilst promising junior Zac Wauchope donned the bulldog’s senior guernsey for the first time.

Central’s much talked about forward structure changed yet again with Cullen and Mannion playing deep and Gepp & Keenan up across half forward. Cumming, after 2 weeks playing in the AFL under 18’s, slotted back in at CHB with Brenton Zanette and Ben Camilleri either side. The three performed brilliantly and League selectors need look no further for their Rep half back line for late July.

North’s started with Chris Billings (well I think that was who was under all the head gear) deep with Kale Grundy, McConnell, Khan   & Wes Burton also forward of centre.
Central’s Coach, Jarrod Hinton assistants Gavin Blows & Justin Heath had obviously studied the tape from round 2 with Ben Scroope given the job on Henderson and North’s Jordan Tonkin and Dylan Stuart also kept under tight marking all game.

North’s were far from disgraced with game ending injuries to Wes Burton and Pat White either side of half time robbing them of rotations as fatigue set in. Burton in particular was one of North’s best until hobbling off. White went down early in the 3rd and 4 big strong men were required to carry the stretcher. We hope both injuries are not serious as both are in North’s top 10.  

North’s trailing at the long break by 33 points mounted a gutsy comeback to kick the first 3 goals of the 3rd quarter to reduce the deficit to 15 odd points. Surprisingly Central’s, got ahead of themselves, having Lawrence and Wilmore both on the pine after ½ time. Once they both re entered the game Central’s re asserted their midfield dominance and piled on 5 unanswered goals to set up a match winning 47 point lead at ¾ time.

The final quarter was a formality as Coaches went overboard on rotations, and in general, the first ten minutes was just riddled with skill errors and poor decision making by both teams.  

For the Pies none was better, over 4 quarters, than Cumming. His ability to position himself is excellent, his overhead marking superb and his decision making excellent. He is undoubtedly Broken Hill’s most likely next AFL draftee.

In the ruck Shane Lawrence is finally taking his game to a standard that is fitting a spot in the Rep team. Central’s skills advisor Wayne Walker is doing a great job teaching “Lauro” (and others) how to play smart footy.  Jarred Paull enjoyed the freedom of a move to a wing and he dominated all day linking perfectly with the defenders and his supply to his forwards was excellent.  McInnes at six foot plenty is a special talent and a luxury to have on a wing. Keenan was very good in the first half and his lead up bullocking work is tailor made for the finals in September. Special mention for Scroope who stuck to Henderson all day and a job that is not measured by stats but by determination, concentration and discipline.

Centrals did not have a passenger and with several players to return, depth is a great tool for the Coach. North’s best were Brett Johnson and Jayden Kelly. How Coach David Ruddock would like another two of these lads who just “put in” from start to finish. Their ability to win their own footy and to use the ball to advantage is what separated them from there team mates.

Blake Clare toiled hard in the ruck and around the ground using his kilos to good effect, whilst Tobias Hack rebounded strongly off half back all day. Kurtis Bevan also used the ball well whilst Matt Garrick recovered from a horror start on Mannion to do a good shadowing job on Justin Heath.
North’s will be buoyed by the pending return of Codie Howard as you just can’t replace champions. With West’s 0-5 score line  North will already have one eye on a September semi final and we all know that North’s in September are always hard to beat.

Central’s venture next week over the Hill to meet South’s in a game that can hand them a big 3 game advantage after 6 rounds or lose and be quickly back in the pack.
It’s only May and what seems like an unbeatable Central combination has failed to deliver on the big stage in September, so for the Magpies it’s about keeping both feet firmly on the ground and remembering all the work that has taken them to a 5-0 start to the season….. Peter Nash

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