Robins take flight
Monday, 11th April, 2016
By By Balldock
The Robins have opened the season with a comprehensive 79-point victory over a disappointing Central.
After months of anticipation and expectation the Robins delivered for their long suffering supporters on Saturday, and in doing so they have put the other three clubs on notice; this is a new West side.
After a tight and physical opening the Robins took control in a four-minute burst, kicking three goals to race to a 20-point lead.
Late in the opening term, the Magpies continuously found themselves under pressure going forward as the Robins back half stood firm.
West took an 18 point lead into the first break.
While the second term was again willing, both sides let themselves down with poor skills. With each having an equal amount of time in possession, the contest just seesawed between their defensive lines due to these errors.
Mid-way through the term the Robins gained a huge lift when Bates and King converted to give them a handy 31-point lead in a low scoring affair.
The lead was advanced by a single behind as the half time siren sounded and the Robins could be well pleased after a solid first half.
The Robins had winners in key positions with Bates and Cieslik doing well up forward while King, Mackiewicz and Milne were collecting touches in the middle of the ground.
The back line for the Robins was held together by Teelow and Pearce, while the Magpies had Cox, Camilleri and Neal doing their best.
The big question after half time was if the Magpies could run the game out, with a fair percentage of their players missing the Lightning Cup.
After only kicking one goal in the opening half, Carapellotti gave the Magpies the perfect start inside the opening two minutes.
To the Robins’ credit they continued to hold firm to their structures and restrict the Magpies’ forward movements.
Goals to Andrews and Cieslik had the Robins stretch their lead to 39 points midway through the term. The Magpies showed little flair going forward as Balchin and Carapellotti had little impact.
Approaching time on, Cox kicked the Magpies’ third but the margin was a major concern in a low-scoring contest. West went in with a handy 35-point lead.
After the opening three quarters it was always going to be tough for the Magpies, especially with limited game time.
The Robins made them suffer with early goals to Bates and Mackiewicz and as a contest, it was all but over.
But the Robins had other plans and with four goals in eight minutes, the margin was out to 72 points.
Camilleri kicked a consolation goal for the Magpies before the Robins closed it out with two more goals to register an impressive 79-point win.
West Coach Peter Larkin would have been happy with what he saw on Saturday with the teams commitment. While there are still areas for improvement, the journey looks positive for the Robins.
The game marked their first opening round win since 2012 and their highest winning total against the Magpies since round 17 in 2011.
Looking at the best players and I couldn’t go past Matt Nelson. His effort in the ruck and around the ground was brilliant, with Daniel Milne and Liam King also superb for the Robins.
Bates and Josh provided the Robins marking targets inside forward 50 and they both finished with four goals apiece.
The Magpies were well served by Camilleri in dual roles while Cox and Neal gave their all for the Black and White. The Magpies must work hard through the week to prepare for the Bulldogs, with both sides looking for their first win, while the Robins will get a real test against the Roos next Saturday.