Round three had it all with nail biting thrillers, unexpected blow outs and everything in between. We’ve now got just five undefeated sides across the three divisions with Woori Yallock, Pakenham, Monbulk, Kinglake and Yarra Glen yet to taste defeat. Let’s review the week that was.
1. Wonderful Woori
Woori Yallock proved once again that they will never ever go away. Hosting Cranbourne in both sides second game of the season Woori started slow unable to keep up with the Eagles spread from the contest with Ryan Jones and Anthony Vella particularly impressing for the Eagles.
As the weather turned sour, so did the Eagles style of play which looked fairly reliant on slick ball movement and was not conducive to the tight confides of Woori, especially in wet and slippery conditions. The Tigers kicked eight goals to two in the second term, with Alex Marsh kicking five goals in the term. Unfortunately for Marsh he didn’t kick another for the game.
Bryan Cole moved all his big guns around the football in the second half with Jordy Williams and Jake Matthews spending time on ball, whilst the efforts of marking half backs Robbie Allen and Michael Riseley were also spectacular in thwarting the Cranbourne attacks. Zak Monkhorst battled hard against Cranbourne’s big man Michael Wenn.
One issue for Woori Yallock will be their inability to finish off the game as they hung on desperately. Cranbourne had all the play in the later stages and kicked four goals to one in the last quarter and seemed to have much more run than the Tigers later in the game. Woori Yallock will only get better with this as they get more minutes under their belt.
The Tigers face Olinda Ferny Creek next week, and if they perform as they did in the second and third quarters on the weekend, they’ll continue their winning ways.
2. Rusty Roos
Officer Kangaroos were many peoples premiership favourite in Division One heading into the season. Now, after just three games of the home and away season we see Officer sitting second bottom on the ladder, one of two sides without a win.
They’ve managed to score just 150 points across the opening three rounds and have conceded 290 points. Skipper Matthew Clarke has kicked five goals and Brent Moloney has four. They have nine out of the sides 22 goals for 2019.
Now to be fair, Officer have faced the top three sides in Doveton, Pakenham and Monbulk to start the year and they have well and truly tightened up their defence after the Doves put 140 past them on Good Friday. But nonetheless Doug Koop and his men will be getting anxious.
The next fortnight is massive for them. They face a resurgent Warburton Millgrove away before hosting Belgrave in round five. If they are any chance of getting their season back on track they will need to take full points against both of these sides before a big home clash against Mount Evelyn.
It might be a bit dramatic but the next few weekends could decide the Kangaroos fate. 0-6 or 1-5 means they will be pushing the proverbial up hill to sneak into the finals, let alone get a double chance. 3-3 is the goal but I dare say they would accept 2-4 as well.
Let’s see who stands up for the men in blue and white.
3. River Pig Pride
Yarra Glen have kept their undefeated Pride Cup streak alive with a pretty impressive performance on Sunday. Seville looked the better side early but the intensity around the football along with some great tackling pressure and physicality from the River Pigs saw them grab their second win for the season.
Seville weren’t helped by Justin Meyers going down with a suspected calf injury during the first quarter or the shut out completed by Yarra Glen coach Leigh Thomson on Patrick Ratray. Ratray has kicked 12 goals in the first two rounds of the season but had little effect on the game kicking just one goal in the first quarter. For all of his ability in the air, Ratray is very reliant on the delivery from the midfield.
Once the ball hit the ground Thomson and the Yarra Glen defenders were able to win nearly all of their battles with Ratray. He and Nathan O’Keefe will definitely tear some sides apart though this season, and with the speed of Cory Glass and Dylan Broadway there is plenty to like about the Blues.
For Yarra Glen the midfield brigade of Hurley, Ashton, Telford and Gardner were ultra impressive on the inside and combined well with the outside run of Binion and Pride Medal winner Austin Smith.
Down forward Richard Gurney kicked four and took the most of his opportunities, whilst Will Goodwin and Jiemba Smith provided the River Pigs a couple of focal points. New recruit Tim Ekers also worked his way into the game well, kicking one goal and demanding some attention from the Seville defenders.