Round 3 sees Eagles improve and Cougars lament
Bulldogs 9 15 69 def Eagles 8 3 51
The Eagles sharp shooting on goal, which saw them not score a behind after the first quarter, contrasted with the Bulldogs, who amassed 5 goals 12 behinds after quarter time, including 5-straight behinds in the final quarter. This contrast kept the Eagles in the game on a wet and blustery afternoon. They were a much more competitive outfit this week, with several new players taking the field, led by Sam McDell, Adam Catchpole, Scott Farbin and Todd Howard. Team president, Rick van Olphen battled manfully up forward and kicked like a sharp shooter, using his trusted left foot. Game highlight was a pack mark by Richie Hazelwood in the goal square, who flew from four deep to clutch the ball.
The Bulldogs were without veterans Todd Andrews and Zack Williams, who no doubt would have provided more scoring power, but they still maintained enough grunt in the mid-field, led by Stephan van Gruting, Wayne Sullivan and Paddy Smith, to wrest control of the ball at critical times. The team will need all pistons firing if they are to beat the rampaging Blues in the round 4 blockbuster.
Blues 16 19 115 def Cougars 3 6 24
This match was expected to be closer, given some of the names on the Cougars team sheet, but it goes to show that rugby and AFL are vastly different sports. The Blues, though battling without a bench, were studded with experienced players who ran rings around the younger Cougars, the latter having no idea on positioning and lacked defensive strategies. They will improve, no doubt, as the weeks roll on, following the return of veteran Brendan Swift. The Blues were without some key players, but this did not stop the dominance of Nick and Johnny Fisher, who were ably supported by ball magnets Jared Court, Louis Watt and James Bowden.
Neil de Joux battled manfully for the Cougars, but he needs more support. The highlight for the Cougars was a last quarter coast to coast goal, which saw a kick-in on the Northwood Boulevard side of the ground result in not one Blues player touching the ball and capped off by a sweet round-the-body snap on goal by veteran Jamie Day.