Bulldogs blitz Cougars and Blues overwhelm Eagles-round 8
The Eagles were coming off a hard fought win over their wooden spoon rivals the University cougars in round 6, while the Blues were regrouping after a tense struggle with arch-rivals the Christchurch Bulldogs. The Eagles were without mid-field specialists Stanley Chung (out of town) and Simon Carden (knee) and reliable defender Matt Crighton. The Blues were again without the Fisher brothers and Richard Bradley, but welcomed back Chris Leader and Dan Young.
The game saw a surprisingly even first term, which could have seen the Eagles in the lead , but for some wasteful shots on goal. They a amassed 9-behinds for the quarter, with a solitary goal, in contrast to the Blues who kicked accurately with 4-goals from their five shots.
The Blues really started to exercise control in the second quarter, with forward Logan Toomer kicking 3-goals. The Blues found themselves free of opponents in the midfield as the Eagles refused to man up, enabling them to find easy avenues to goal. Apert from Richie Hazlewood, Charlie Barnes and Josh Robles, the Eagles offered little resistance. Full forward, Rick van Olphen was limping badly and was restricted in his movements when the ball was kicked to a contest.
The second half saw a more spirited effort from the Eagles, which slowed down the scoring rate of the Blues. They won a lot of one on one contests, but could not move the ball freely, such was the Blues defensive pressure. The Blues scored freely once they entered forward-50, with a great running goal by half forward Cory Jury Lyn being a highlight.
Eastern Blues 16 12 108 def The Eagles 3 13 31
Best Blues: Toomer, Court, Watt, Williams, Bowden
Best Eagles: Hazlewood, Robles, Barnes, Peters
Top placed Bulldogs were coming off a morale boosting win over the Blues, while the Cougars were rueing their missed opportunity to record a drought breaking win over the Eagles. The game started with complete domination by the Bulldogs, who kicked 6-goals for the quarter and repeated the dose for each of the remaining quarters. The Cougars were struggling to get their hands on the ball as the mid-field powerhouse of Sullivan, Woodward and Van Gruting took control. The Bulldogs revelation, Jarred Percival, was on fire up forward with his agility and accurate kicking, while tall, Todd Andrews made every contest a winner.
The Cougars rallied a little in the third quarter when they managed three goals from three scoring opportunities, but this was too little too late. With a depleted bench, they were short on rotations and could not maintain th momentum. The lack of player numbers has been an all too familiar story for the Cougars in recent years, but the players they have on the park are committed to the cause. Neil de Joux read the game beautifully and picked up numerous possessions behind the play and tall, Callum McKenzie provided the odd highlight with his aerial skills. The Bulldogs were without key forward Zak Williams and ball magnet Paddy smith this week, but they were well compensated by the brilliance of Brad Mavor and Alex Frew, both top grade rugby players who have adapted their skills to AFL.
Bulldogs 24 14 158 def University Cougars 5 3 33
Best Bulldogs: Mavor, Percival, Van Gruting, Andrews, T Foley
Best Cougars: de Joux, McKenzie, Swift, Smaill