Eagles go back to basics under new coaches


Senior Report – By Wayne Walker

THE New Norfolk Eagles’ senior team went back to basics last weekend under a new coaching structure against an improved Hobart Tigers outfit at the Boyer Oval. Past premiership coach Matthew Smith has returned to the club and will share the coaching duties with Josh Clifford, Jacob Wigg and Bradley Chaplin for the balance of the season following the resignation of senior coach Tim Butterworth.

The Eagles once again were well in the contest at half-time but faded in the second half. The Tigers took over in the engine room, winning many of the clearances from the centre of the ground and finding forwards Brodie Johnstone (three goals) Dane Ayliffe (three) and Alex Gilmour (two) which gave Hobart more avenues to goal to run out 42-point winners over the young Eagles. It may not have been the ideal hit-out for the Eagles, suffering another loss, but it gave Matthew Smith a chance to cast his eye over the playing group which will help form-up some new strategies in the weeks ahead for the remainder of the 2022 season.

The Tigers were on top early in the first term and wasted a few scoring opportunities. The Eagles bounced back with goals to the hard-working Jake Bearman and a great set-shot from Ben Lovell who steered through his first major from 45m out on a tight angle to get the home side up and running. Quarter-time scores were Hobart 3.4 (22) to New Norfolk 2.2 (14).

Eagle ruckman Michael Murray returned to the senior squad going head-to-head with Tiger Charlie Meadows. Jake Bearman, Brayden Chaplin and Brock Triffett squared off in the centre bounce contests against Tigers Brock Daniels, Luke Kreune and Kobey Phillips.

The Tigers opened the second term with a goal to playing coach Gilmour followed by another from Johnstone to give the visitors a 25-point lead. The next play saw the experienced Rohan Heron grab the footy and charge forward, sighting a lead from Lovell who flew in a marking contest. As the ball hit the deck, young Eagle Riley Higgins sharked the footy at the bottom of the pack to kick truly for the Eagles’ third. The home side went into attack once again and booted another major through Jordan Banks-Smith to pull the Tigers lead back to 12 points.
Late in the second term, the Tigers took advantage of a kick in error to boot their seventh goal to take a 21-point lead into the half time break: Tigers 7.7 (49) to Eagles 4.4 (28).

The Tigers gradually gained momentum and extended the margin to 31 points at the three-quarter time break and added another four goals in the last term to run out comfortable 42-point winners. The Eagles were well served by Zayden Kelly who performed well in defence. Josh Clifford led from the front with his hard running and tackling pressure at every contest. Tyron Bailey continues his great form in what has been a consistent season. Josh Farrow was solid in defence and also around the ground in the second half and Riley Higgins was dangerous around the big sticks booting three majors.

The Eagles went back to school in the pre-match address, again at the half-time break and also post-match as Smith identified some major facets of the game to the squad. He also pointed out a number of positives throughout the game and said he looked forward to working with the young group on the training track to fine tune some basic skills, communication, field position and discipline. The coaching group will work on some other strategies before their next encounter against Claremont after this weekend’s mid-season bye.

Final Scores
Hobart 14.12 (96)

New Norfolk 7.12 (54)
Best: N
ew Norfolk: J. Farrow, Z. Kelly, J. Clifford, T. Bailey, J. Bearman, J. Fisher-Cooley; Hobart: B. Daniels, K. Pillips, B. Johnstone, D. Huxley, J. Quinn, B. Goninon.
Goals – New Norfolk: R. Higgins 3, B. Lovell 2, J. Banks-Smith, J. Bearman; Hobart: D. Ayliffe 3, B. Johnstone 3, R. Stocks 2, A. Gilmour 2, B. Joseph, B. Goninon, A. Murfitt, S. Michalowski.


NEW Norfolk grabbed a much-needed win over the Hobart Tigers after two previous losses to Lindisfarne and Cygnet, running out 35-point winners and rejoining the hunt for a spot in the top five. Both sides were goalless after an even first term as it was a battle of the backlines. Neither side was able to find a way through the big sticks and the quarter-time scores were New Norfolk 0.3 (3) to Hobart 0.2 (2).

The Eagles hit the scoreboard early in the second term through big ruckman/forward Brayden Drake, followed by another from Corey Ransley. The Eagles were getting great drive from onballers Jake Foster and Dylan Browning, along with Jaythen Poulson on the wing and Drake winning a number of the ruck duels. Zac Wheeler booted a third goal to give the home side an 18-point lead at the half time break: New Norfolk 3.3 (21) to Hobart 0.3 (3).

The Eagles quickly got their game going in the third term with Corey Ransley taking some strong overhead grabs and kicking two quick goals. These were followed by another from the busy Cody Neads, who gathered the crumbs at ground level to take the Eagles out to a 30-point lead. After a couple of minor scores from both sides the Eagles held a 31-point lead at three-quarter-time: New Norfolk 6.5 (41) to Hobart 1.4 (10).

The Eagles added another two goals in the last term through Poulson and Tyler Heron to record a comfortable 35-point victory. Brett Hodge continues to impress at full-back, and Tyler Purdon and Jeremy Nichols were also handy. The Eagles now look forward to their next encounter against the Claremont Magpies after the mid-season bye.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 8.5 (53)
Hobart 2.6 (18)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Foster, C. Ransley, B. Hodge, J. Poulson, D. Browning, C. Neads; Hobart: T. Spriggs, L. Freeman, D. Pulford, T. Cosgrove, J. Corbett.
Goals – New Norfolk: C. Ransley 3, B. Drake, C. Neads, J. Poulson, T. Heron, Z, Wheeler; Hobart: A. Donovan, R. Fehlberg.

WOMEN’S REPORT – By Chris Lovell

NEW Norfolk was at home on Saturday against second-placed Brighton in a game to maintain their unbeaten record. Unfortunately, they went into the game missing key personnel Sophie Farrow, Zoie Crawford, Laura Wigg, Chloe Ford and Tayhlar Tangata.

Early morning rain left water laying around the outside of the ground and it was heavy underfoot. The conditions did not encourage good football and consequently the game was scrappy. The first quarter saw the Robins narrowly leading the Eagles by two points at the first change. The second quarter was all the Robins as the Eagle backline was under constant pressure. The loss of most of the Eagles’ midfield made it difficult for them to have any meaningful entries into their forward line and the half-time scores were Brighton 3.3 (21) to New Norfolk 0.1 (1).

The third quarter was a real struggle as both sides were finding it hard to score. The visitors managed to score a single goal while the home side could only manage one point to trail by 25 points at three quarter time. The Eagles tried hard in the last quarter and scored goals through Natalie Bearman and Carolyn Mart but were still outscored by the Robins who scored two goals and three behinds to run out comfortable 28-point winners.

While the Eagles suffered their first loss for the season, they would have learnt some valuable lessons which will stand them in good stead for the balance of the season. The Robins are a good side and sit second on the ladder behind the Eagles. With the return of some key players, the lady Eagles travel to Pembroke Park at Sorell this Sunday to tackle the South-East Suns.

Final Scores
New Norfolk 2.2 (14)
Brighton 6. 6 (42)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. Skelly, M. Devine, A. Robilliard, M. Percey, G. Kube, D. Clifford; Brighton: D. Triffett, G. Pennicott, A. Knowles, R. Foster, K. Wickham, S. White.
Goals – New Norfolk: N. Bearman, C. Mart; Brighton: G. Smith 3, G. Pennicott, B. Dredge, S. White.

COLTS REPORT – By Chris Lovell

FOLLOWING a narrow loss to Cygnet the week before, the young Eagles were at home to top-of-the-ladder Lindisfarne last Saturday. The ground was wet underfoot and the conditions were overcast for what would be a tough game.

The home side kicked to the changeroom end in the first quarter. The teams were evenly matched early with both sides trying to gain the upper hand. Lindisfarne opened the scoring and slipped out to a two-goal lead before Bailey Wheeler scored the Eagles’ first with a brilliant one-handed pick-up in the forward pocket and a run into the goal-square for a great goal. Lindisfarne steadied with another to lead by three goals at the first break: Lindisfarne 4.2 (26) to New Norfolk 1.2 (8).

The second quarter saw Lindisfarne open up and take charge of the game, scoring three goals and four behinds.
The Eagles could only manage to add one goal and a behind. Jordan George was defending strongly and Harry Sillifant was showing some class as he runs into form. Half-time scores were Lindisfarne 7.6 (48) to New Norfolk 2.3 (15).

The third quarter was once again a tight struggle as the Eagles fought hard against their stronger opponents. Lindisfarne scored two goals while New Norfolk added three behinds to trail by 42 points at three-quarter-time: Lindisfarne 9.6 (60) to New Norfolk 2.6 (18).

An inaccurate Lindisfarne had the majority of play in the last quarter and scored three goals and three behinds. The Eagles had limited opportunities but were accurate in scoring two goals. The Two Blues ran out strong 51-point winners and showed the young Eagles why they are sitting on top of the ladder. New Norfolk was well-served by Jordan George who defended stoutly all game. Bailey Wheeler shows class and Harry Sillifant is showing enough to suggest he will be a real asset to the club moving forward.

Final Scores
Lindisfarne 12.9 (81)
New Norfolk 4.6 (30)
Best – New Norfolk:
J. George, L. Blackwell, J. Conley, H. Sillifant, W. Watts, B. Wheeler; Lindisfarne: O. Holdsworth, C. Millward, J. Roberts, W. Gaffney, H. Menzie, L. Budd.
Goals – New Norfolk: B. Wheeler 2, W. Watts, D. Branch; Lindisfarne: L. Budd 4, C. Millward 2, C. Doran 2, J. Triffett, W. Gaffney, A. Hoggan, I. Saltmarsh.

  • Sunday, July 3, at Pembroke Park: New Norfolk Women v South East Suns at 10am.
  • Saturday, July 9, at Boyer Oval: New Norfolk v Claremont, women at 9am, reserves at 1pm, seniors at 3pm. Eagle Colts v Dodges Ferry at 11am.

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