Eagles have the weekend off after heavy slog at Cygnet

NEW Norfolk’s three men’s teams were on the road to Cygnet last Saturday. The Colts were first up, in a repeat performance of the previous week against the undefeated Southern Storm. It was an impossible task for the young side against an incredibly strong opposition. To their credit, the team fought hard all game but was simply out-muscled and out-classed.

The Reserves continued their winning streak with an impressive 28-point victory over Cygnet. After trailing by 13 points at three-quarter time, the Eagles piled on six goals while keeping the home side scoreless for a great win. The team is playing good consistent football and has consolidated third spot on the SFL ladder.

The Senior side faced a tough task against ladder-leaders Cygnet on their home ground. The final score looked like a comfortable 44-point victory for the home side, but the Eagles were still in the game early in the final quarter and only for some late goals by Cygnet would have finished much closer. Injuries to key players is causing concern as we have not been able to field our best 22 in several weeks. Hopefully, the break will help, and we can gat back to full strength for the second half of the season.

The SFL has a competition bye this weekend. Coming up on June 19, the women will have another bye while the volts meet Sorell at Pontville at 10am. At Abbottsfield Park, the Reserves will meet Claremont noon and
Seniors will play Claremont at 2pm.

CHRIS LOVELL

MATCH REPORTS
Senior Report – Wayne Walker
: The Eagles found the going tough in the last half against Cygnet, which was more efficient using the footy in wet heavy conditions at the Cygnet Oval. The Port ran out 44-point winners and took top spot on the SFL ladder. They are now four points clear of second-placed Huonville after Lindisfarne upset the Lions in a close contest at Anzac Park.

Cygnet was dangerous with big key forwards Joe Direen, Ryan Wiggins, James Zeitzen and Jordan Lane contesting in the air. Once the ball hit ground level, Port’s small brigade of Noah Clifford, Jake Dance and Bailey Gordon were scouting well, which enabled the home side to gain scoreboard breaks at various stages throughout the afternoon.

The Port started the first term full of run and hit the scoreboard early with majors to Bailey and Clifford. The Eagles answered through Jack Crossin with two for the quarter and a snap from Tyron Bailey 30m out on a tight angle. Key match-ups had Eagle captain Josh Farrow on Port’s Ryan Wiggins. Rohan Heron picked up big forward Joe Direen and Tim Butterworth lined up on Port strongman Thor Boscott. Eagle ruckman Ashley Burgess shared ruck duties with Tyron Bailey against Port’s abundance of talls at the centre bounces. Star Eagle forward Caden Wilson was missing from the side with a calf injury, which was a blow for the visitors.

The Eagles had a slight wind advantage during the first quarter and had the ball in their forward half more often than Port. However, they failed to make the most of their forward entries. It was all tied up at quarter time at 3.2 (20) apiece. Cygnet was on the attack in the second term through the hard-working Lachlan Ward, Nathan Duggan, and Toby Cowen. Their hard work resulted in goals to Joe Direen and Jake Dance. However, Port was off target booting 3.9 for the quarter while the Eagles kicked 2.1 against the breeze. The home side held a 14-point lead at the main break.

The rain came during the half-time break and continued to fall for the remaining two quarters. Conditions turned heavy underfoot with players finding it difficult to maintain control of a slippery footy. It was the Eagles’ turn to miss opportunities. The visitors kicked 1.6 for the term with the only goal to playing coach Josh Clifford. Port increased their lead to 22 points at the three-quarter time break with Boscott, Dance and Direen kicking vital goals. The game was turning into a real slog with both sides struggling to handle the footy. The Eagles were just hanging on to stay in the contest.

Conditions continued to be challenging in the last term. The home side were able to surge the ball forward and take several telling marks on their forward line, through Direen, Lane and Zeitzen. This resulted in four goals for Port while the Eagles could only manage one through Ben Lovell. The Port certainly know how to play their home deck. They always had the ability to clear the ball from the kick ins and from deep in the backline by playing the short kick game until they could channel the footy through the corridor to their forwards. The Eagles at times kicked the footy wide out to the wing position, losing any momentum and turning the footy over or losing the ball out of bounds.

As with every game of footy there are positives. The Eagles tried hard all day with Jake Bearman and Josh Hills working hard over four quarters. Rohan Heron was solid across half back and had a great duel with Direen. Farrow worked tirelessly across the backline. Ruckman Ashley Burgess continues to work into good form. Brayden Chaplin played a cracker of a game gaining many possessions while applying some great tackles which is a feature of his game. Jaimie Sokolski leads the way with his relentless attack on the footy and is really having a great season.

The Eagles are yet to string two consecutive wins together this season. They currently sit one game outside the top five on 16 points as we head into a full competition bye this weekend. This will give them time to regroup and overcome some injury concerns before we head into the second round of games for the season. We travel to Claremont to take on the Magpies following the bye.

Cygnet 13.18 (96)
New Norfolk 7.10 (52)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Sokolski, B. Chaplin, R. Heron, Jake Bearman, Josh Hills, J. Farrow; Cygnet: S. Dean, B. Gordon, L. Ford, N. Duggan, L. Watt, T. Cowen.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Clifford 2, J. Crossin 2, T. Bailey, B. Chaplin, B. Lovell; Cygnet: J. Direen 2, B. Gordon 2, J. Dance 2, R. Wiggins, R. Jennings, J. Zeitzen, B. Livingston, T. Boscott, N. Clifford, J. Lane.

Reserves Report – Wayne Walker: New Norfolk struggled to get its game going for the first three quarters
against a determined Cygnet. The Port gave the visitors the slip in the first three quarters by getting out on their own and creating the loose man. The Eagles struggled to pick up their immediate opponents. Port’s small forward Matthew Coulson was dangerous along with Jack Brett (kicking two majors each) to put the home side in front and it looked like an upset was looming. The Eagles trailed at three-quarter time by 13 points and looked to be in trouble.

All that changed in the last term as the visitors were revved up by coach Bryan Chaplin and assistant coach Bradley Chaplin at the break. The players responded to their coaches and were full of running. Clint Curtain, who was well held for most of the game, bagged two goals along with multiple single goalkickers. The Eagles went on to record a hard-fought victory. Port was held scoreless, as the visitors went up a gear kicking six goals to power away to record a 28-point win and maintain third spot on the SFL Reserves ladder.

Eagle onballers Torne Tangata and Tyson Eiszele were busy all day and continue their great form. They were well supported by Andrew Minchin who is a welcome return to the side and has added extra depth to the midfield. Corey Ransley played a solid game across half forward and in the ruck booting three goals for the game. Two of those goals were kicked in the second quarter which kept the Eagles in the game. Backline players Jaiden Fisher-Cooley and Nathan Ford were solid in defence. Young gun Tyler Purdon played well with his long drop punts from half back into the forward line. Another young gun for the Eagles Ethan Holden did some great work along with Tyler Heron who was also good at ground level gaining some important possessions.

Even though the Eagles struggled for a large portion of the game, it was an impressive win, considering there were a few unavailable players plus three other players promoted to the Seniors.

New Norfolk 9.9 (63)
Cygnet 5.5 (35)
Best – New Norfolk:
T. Tangata, T. Eiszele, C, Ransley, A. Minchin, E. Holden, B. Hodge; Cygnet: P. O’Neill, D. Webster, R. Scotland, D. Bantick, J. Pearson, M. Coulson.
Goals – New Norfolk: C. Ransley 3, T. Tangata 2, C. Curtain 2, M. Murray, N. Santi; Cygnet: J. Brett 2, M. Coulson 2, M. Direen.

Colts Report – David Banks: New Norfolk travelled to Cygnet to take on Southern Storm after playing the same side the week before, hoping to improve on the previous result. The Eagles took the field with only 17 players due to some not turning up. Credit is due to all those boys that turned up ready to play.

The young Eagles started well and with the Storm only kicking 5.5 for the quarter our boys had stuck to their guns and defended stoutly. They needed to keep defending for the next three quarters and somehow start to get a score of their own on the board.

In the second term the Storm showed why they are sitting undefeated on top of the ladder. They produced some slick teamwork and movement of the footy that left our young Eagles struggling to counter. Only for the defending of Jordan George, who was starting to get some of the footy, the Storm would have been further in front than the 81-point margin at the halfway point.

The big question of the second half was, could the young Eagle team counter the slick teamwork of the Storm? Unfortunately, the answer was no, as The Storm went on to add a further 17 goals to nil in the second half to run out easy winners by 189 points. To our young Eagles’ credit, the boys never gave up against a talented Storm outfit.

Credit to Jordan George who battled vainly on the backline all game. Youngsters Brodie Scanlon and Bailey Wheeler also showed glimpses of great endeavour and will be a force in years to come. While the final score was massive, our boys did not give up and fought hard all day. They managed to display some good passages of football during the match. This is a young side and it will continue to improve as the season progresses. They will be much stronger next season.

Southern Storm 29.21 (195)
New Norfolk 0.0 (0)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. George, B. Scanlon, M. Hay, T. Triffett, J. Triffett, Z. Jones; Southern Storm: L. Cooke, C. Walter, K. Wouters, A. Brereton, M. Bastick, L. Carmichael.
Goals – Southern Storm: C. Walter 12, L. Cooke 6, R. Gale 3, K. Wouters 2, O. Salter.2, M. Bastick 2, A. Tymbas, A. Brereton.

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