SFL ROUND 7 – NEW NORFOLK v BRIGHTON
Senior Report by Wayne Walker
THE Brighton Robins broke a significant record last Saturday. From 2000 to 2021, New Norfolk and Brighton played 44 games with New Norfolk winning 40 and Brighton winning four. The two teams played 21 times at the Boyer Oval with New Norfolk winning all 21 games.
On Saturday, the new look Brighton Robins recorded their first victory at the big Boyer Oval against a struggling New Norfolk outfit by a whopping 82 points. The Robins displayed good football and look to be the big improvers in the SFL Senior competition this season.
The Robins took charge of the game in the second term with a seven-goal blitz to hold a match-winning lead of 46 points at the main break. The Eagles had only two goals on the board and no answers for the rampaging Robins. Big Brighton ruckman Ryan Bailey dominated at the centre bounces and around the ground giving good supply to onballers Darcy Gardner, Jacob Whitney, Brady Hayden, and Josh Nus. Full forward Max Lamb was dangerous bagging five goals and Jacob Young was also busy up forward with three goals.
The Eagles suffered a major blow in the opening minutes of the contest losing key forward Ben Lovell with a hamstring injury. This put the Eagles on the back foot early as the coaching panel needed to shuffle the deck and make some early positional changes bringing on big ruck man Michael Murray for his first Senior game for the season (returning from injury) to centre half forward for the home side.
Max Lamb opened the Robins account with a goal from a set shot but moments later Eagle running machine Will Banks snapped a clever goal from a stoppage in heavy traffic. The Robins had more of the play in the first term with Gardner, Whitney and Hayden getting plenty of the footy as quarter time scores showed the Robins 2.5 (17) to the Eagles 1.2 (8).
The second term opened with Robins forward Riley Best booting two goals in a minute to give the visitors a 21-point lead. The Robins were gaining in confidence and winning the ball out of the centre and at the stoppages as they kicked four goals in succession to jump out to a 46-point margin. Eagle veteran Josh Clifford kicked the footy along the ground close to goal to record the Eagles second but Robin forward Max Lamb answered moments later to retain a big 46-point margin at half-time: Robins 9.6 (60) to the Eagles 2.2 (14).
The young Eagles walked from the big Boyer Oval at the half time break with their heads down and certainly lacking in confidence after a tough start to the season coming off some big defeats over the past few weeks. The last half continued to be played on the Robins terms as they booted four majors in the third term and added another five in the last to be convincing 82-point winners. The Eagles lost in-form ruckman Jacob Daley for the second half with a knee injury which had a big impact on the team along with the loss of Lovell in the first term.
The Eagles must now be asking themselves where to from here? With only one win on the board the team is lacking form and confidence. They must look at the positives as coach Tim Butterworth continues to have faith in his group of youngsters. Players such as Banks, Poulsen, Butler, Kelly, Fisher-Cooley, Higgins, George, Miller, Thomason, Bailey Chaplin and Brock and Caleb Triffett are all gaining valuable experience at Senior level and will be improved by this. This is the right call for the club and will be of benefit in the future.
The Eagles can also benefit from a winning Reserves side which is slowly looking better from week to week and no doubt players will be promoted to Senior level or vice versa in the weeks ahead. Players such as the Eiszele brothers (Nathan, Jordan, and Tyson) will return along with Aaron Papera, Brayden Chaplin, Sam Webb, Rohan Heron, and the much-missed Josh Hills. The Eagles have the bye this week which has come at a good time and will also give them time to reflect on the past seven rounds and get over any injury concerns.
New Norfolk 5.5 (35)
Brighton 18.9 (117)
Best – New Norfolk: B. Butler, J. Fisher-Cooley, T. Bailey, J. Kelly, J. Farrow, W. Banks; Brighton: B. Hayden, R. Best, A. Waller, J. Nus, L. Arbuckle, J. Whitney. Goals – New Norfolk: J. Clifford 2, C. Triffett, J. Kelly, W. Banks; Brighton: M. Lamb 5, J. Young 3, D. Gardner 2, R. Best 2, M. Alberry 2. L. Arbuckle, R. Bailey, S. Lewis-Johnson, B. Hayden.
Reserves Report by Wayne Walker
THE New Norfolk Reserves side bounced back with a 17-point victory over the Brighton Robins after the previous week’s loss to the Sharks. They welcomed back a number of key personnel in Kyle Walker, Thomas Lovell and Tyler Purdon along with experienced defender Rohan Heron and Aaron Papera who added some grunt to the contest by gaining many hard ball gets and is also a great communicator within the group.
The Eagles took an 11-point lead at quarter time. but it was the second term where they gained control booting four goals while the Robins only added three behinds. Eagle forward Richard Graham booted a set shot goal followed up by another major from Aaron Papera taking the footy from a boundary throw in to extend the margin to 22 points.
The Eagles had the momentum and found big man Brayden Drake close to goal as he booted the footy off the ground for another six pointer for the Eagles. Drake followed up just seconds later with a fantastic snap around his body on a tight angle from the forward pocket for a sensational goal as the Eagles took a 34-point lead into half-time: Eagles 7.2 (44) to the Robins 1.4 (10).
The Robins fought back in the third term holding the Eagles to just one goal for the quarter but could only manage one major for themselves. The Eagles still had a commanding lead of 36 points at three-quarter-time: Eagles 8.6 (54) to the Robins 2.6 (18).
The Eagles looked to be in control of the contest, but the Robins came out firing in the last term booting four goals to draw within 11 points. They looked like they were running out the game stronger than the Eagles until young gun Zac Wheeler sealed the deal late in the quarter kicking a great goal from 40m out from the half-forward flank to steady the ship and grab the victory by 17 points.
The Eagles were well-led by Corey Ransley and Aaron Papera. Andrew Minchin was best on ground in what was a great four quarter performance. Ethan Holden was cool across half back and used the footy well with his precise kicking skills. William Watts continues to show good form in the ruck and has a high percentage of second and third efforts around the contest and never takes a backward step.
The New Norfolk District Football Club would like to thank the Glenorchy District Football Club for allowing three of their Development League players to play for our Reserves on Saturday. Cooper Lockley, Josh Taylor, and Brodie Hitchens played under permit to help us fill numbers as Glenorchy did not have enough numbers to fill their Development League team. The three showed great talent and composure and blended in well with the Reserve team throughout the contest. We congratulate and thank them for their commitment. This initiative is great to see as all clubs are struggling with illness due to Covid. It is imperative that we try and ensure that our young talent get the opportunity to play football whenever they can and hope that the two clubs can continue to work together this season.
New Norfolk 9.6 (60)
Brighton 6.7 (43)
Best – New Norfolk: A. Papera, A. Minchin, T. Purdon, W. Watts, E. Holden, C. Ransley; Brighton: D. Backhouse, A. Collis, B. Whyte, B. Cockshutt, A. McCarthy, J. Percey.
Goals – New Norfolk: A. Papera 2, R. Graham 2, B. Drake 2, Z. Wheeler, K. Walker, R. Heron; Brighton: J. Percey 2, D. Jetson 2, B. Cockshutt, T. Taylor.
Colts Report by Chris Lovell
FOLLOWING a good win against the Dodges Ferry Sharks the week before, the young Eagles were at home to the Brighton Robins last Saturday. It was a good opportunity for the young Eagles to see how far they have progressed this season against a team which had only lost one game for the season.
The ground was wet underfoot from early rain with the overcast conditions. The Brighton Robins kicked to the change room end in the first quarter with the aid of a slight breeze. The teams were evenly matched and both sides had plenty of scoring opportunities. The young Eagles were very accurate in front of goal kicking three goals straight. The Robins were slightly inaccurate, kicking three goals and two behinds to hold a 3-point advantage at the first change.
The second quarter saw the Eagles with the slight wind advantage attacking strongly for three goals and two behinds. The Robins were defending stoutly and managed to keep their noses in front scoring three goals and one behind against the breeze to go into the big break with a 2-point advantage: Eagles 5.2 (32) to the Robins 5.4 (34).
The scene was set for a big second half as the teams demonstrated their evenness in the first half. Kicking to the scoring end, the Robins began to gain a slight advantage and had more of the play in their forward fifty. The young Eagles were defending well, but multiple attacks on goal by the visitors could have put the game beyond the reach of the home side. The Robins managed two goals and four behinds for the quarter while holding the Eagles to a solitary goal. Three-quarter-time scores: Robins 7.8 (50) to Eagles 6.2 (38).
The young Eagles had last use of the breeze in the last quarter and began strongly to start to peg back the visitors slender 2 goal lead. With Jack Miller playing well at full forward the Eagles levelled the scores with three minutes to go on the clock and looked to be finishing stronger than the visitors. However, lack of discipline saw a couple of melees which resulted in two goals to the Robins which became the winning margin. It was a disappointing end to what was a good even contest for most of the day.
The Eagle coaches were unhappy with the players after the game and pointed out that poor discipline will never win matches and that poor behaviour will not be tolerated. The boys have the opportunity to redeem themselves on Friday night as they play the Robins again on their home turf at Pontville Oval.
New Norfolk 8.3 (51)
Brighton 9. 9 (63)
Best – New Norfolk: H. Morgan, H. Burns, J. Miller, J. Devine, R. Blackaby, J. Goodsell; Brighton: J. Quarrell, C. Donaghy, B. Smith, R. Harris, D. Matthews, M. Read.
Goals – New Norfolk: J. Miller 5, D. Branch 2, B. Scanlon; Brighton: R. Backhouse 4, D. Matthews, H. Zantuck, P. Haremza, C. Donaghy, R. Harris.
Women’s Report by Chris Lovell
LAST Sunday, the much-improved lady Eagles travelled to Pembroke Park to play the South-East Suns for the second time this season. The Eagles were coming of a close but confidence-boosting win against the Brighton Robins the week before to take top spot on the SFLW Division 3 ladder.
The Eagles jumped out of the blocks early and had all of the play scoring five goals and three behinds for a quarter-time lead of 33 points: Eagles 5.3 (33) points to the Suns 0.0 (0). The second quarter saw an inaccurate New Norfolk hold the Suns scoreless again while adding two goals and five behinds for a 64-point lead at half time.
The Suns played much better in the third term to score one goal while the Eagles kicked another two goals and two behinds. The last quarter saw the Eagles flex their muscles scoring six goals and six behinds while keeping the Suns scoreless to record a strong 114-point victory. This Saturday the lady Eagles travel to Abbotsfield Park to play Claremont. The game starts at 10 am.
New Norfolk 18.12 (120)
South-East Suns 1.0 (6)
Best – New Norfolk: O. Harris, M. Percey, L. Wigg, M. Green, J. Franklin, J. Skelly; South-East Suns: D. Hibberd, J. Cope, F. Medhurst, Z. Chugg, J. Roy, R. Sharman.
Goals – New Norfolk: M. Green 5, Z. Crawford 4, M. Percey 3, J. Franklin 2, M. Temple, O. Harris, T. Tangata, C. Mart.
Friday May 20: New Norfolk Colts v Brighton at Pontville Oval at 7.30pm
Saturday May 21: New Norfolk Women v Claremont at Abbotsfield Park at 10am.
Bye: Seniors and Reserves