Roos belt Robins
Monday, 10th April, 2017
By Tyler Hannigan
The final score did not truly reflect the competitiveness of Saturday’s clash between South and West at the Alma Oval, which saw the Roos run out 97-point winners.
For three quarters, an under-strength West side pushed the competition leaders although they were still down by almost seven goals at the last break and couldn’t contain the rampaging Roos in the last, conceding nine goals from 11 scoring shots.
West began the game kicking with the aid of a strong breeze towards the airport end, worth around three to four goals but they were unable to take full advantage.
Cody Schorn kicked the first of South’s majors while Cowen Smith got West off the mark. The quarter also contained a courageous mark running back with the flight by South’s Todd Davidson and a pair of brutal tackles by West ruckman Matt Nelson that prevented a South shot on goal.
West led at the first change but by just one point and within the opening minutes of the second quarter South had erased the slender lead and went about building their own as the breeze eased.
The Roos kicked 6.4 for the term and were well in control at halftime but that didn’t stop coach Craig Thomas from giving his charges an almighty spray in the rooms after some scrappy and at times ill disciplined play in the first half.
South maintained their stranglehold on the game despite kicking into the wind in the third term with four goals. West, however, enjoyed their most productive period of the match, kicking three goals straight including a lovely set shot from the boundary by skipper Brett Martin.
The final quarter then saw South extend their 41-point lead to a huge 97 points by the time the final siren sounded. They racked up nine goals and held the Robins scoreless as South’s superior fitness really came to the fore.
Cody Schorn was brilliant with nine goals and also handed a few off. An early injury to big man Dylan Browne meant that Schorn was allowed to sit deep in the forward line and he took full advantage although it must be said that he was the recipient of some very loose checking at times by the West defenders.
Marc Purcell played well in the middle, especially in the absence of Jordan Johns and Drew Hardy. His in and under work was at his usual high standards while Mitch Henderson continued his good form with another quality display in the ruck.
Connor Washbrook, South’s young forward, was also very impressive with five goals. Washbrook possesses strong hands, good height and great goal sense especially for such a young player. He also benefits from playing in a forward line that contains the likes of Schorn and Browne which not only allows him to get the third or fourth defender each week, but also to learn from the competitions best forwards.
For the Robins, they battled hard without the likes of Daniel Milne and Liam King. Cowen Smith was good with three goals while Brett Martin was also good, especially after halftime. Nelson always gives it his all and Saturday was no different as he went up against Mitch Henderson, Wade Gepp and Jordan Holmes without much respite.
Despite still not being quite at their best and missing some quality players, South were far too good on the day especially as the game wore on which has been their trademark over the past few seasons.
West can take heart from their performance but they lack the real class players needed to properly compete with the likes of South and North, especially without Milne and King.
Football will now break for Easter and resume with two blockbuster games as South clash with North at the Jubilee Oval and Central host West at the Alma.