Dragons Too Strong For Eagles In Round 3 Clash

In a nightmare case of Déjà vu, our Premier Division Eagles suffered another defeat in Round 3, this time at the hands of a confident St George side at Olds Park.

This writer could not label it any better than Coach Hayden Rickard, who described his teams disappointing 97 point loss to the Dragons as “Another poor performance and another disaster of a result”.

Made to rue another slow start, East Coast couldn’t run with their opponents, who were constantly able to repel backline movements, and apply overwhelming pressure with repeat Inside 50 entries. However, much like Round 2’s tough loss to UNSW, the second quarter was when the floodgates really opened for the Eagles.

St George often prove that as a footy side, when they are on, they’re on, and the second term was painful evidence of this. It was not for a lack of trying from East Coast, but everything seemed to go the Dragons way in this quarter. As tensions boiled over, the challenge for the Eagles only grew, but St George thrived off it, bringing plenty of attitude yet doing its most damage on the scoreboard.

This writer would not be surprised if St George had studied Eddie Betts highlights at training this past week, because we saw some fabulous trick-shot Goal of the Year contenders from the pockets that would make the great man proud.

69 points down at half-time and East Coast were searching for answers, desperate to find a way back into the contest. We achieved this in the third, not allowing St George to run free, whilst also having our best scoreboard quarter of the match, adding four majors. Unfortunately, one-way traffic resumed in the final term, St George taking pleasure in deepening East Coast wounds, revelling in a season-launching 97 point victory.

On the performance, Rickard had this to say “Our group is trying, often too hard, which has led to poor decision making, which is handing over pressure to other teammates. That will be a focus this week ahead of a huge assignment against the Students.

We have viewed glimpses of how we want to play, just too little of it to build pressure. We have seen our injury list build over three rounds but the silver lining is time in the saddle for our younger players.

I thought skipper Jamie Vlatko showed how dangerous he is in the hit up role and Jordan Etto brought a toughness we have been missing with his physicality as well as good decision making.”

As mentioned, with an even tougher challenge coming up this week against Sydney University, East Coast will need all hands on deck to prevent another raid.

However, I am backing our boys to be up for the task. They’ve vowed to Protect The Nest in Season 2020, and despite the winless start to the year, everyone in the Eagles community is behind them in support.

Will Cashmore

FINAL SCORE

St George Dragons 5.6-36 13.11-89 18.12-120 23.13-151
East Coast Eagles 1.2-8 3.2-20 7.4-46 8.6-54
St George Dragons
Goal Kickers: N. Casalini 5, P. Tegg 5, W. Mudge 3, J. Pearson 2, B. Jones 2, B. Hodgson 2, N. Coxall, D. Lycakis, J. Dol, C. Flanagan
Best Players: P. Tegg, K. Pfrengle, B. Hodgson, J. Dol, B. Jones, C. Nash
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: J. Vlatko 3, E. Barclay 2, K. Merson 2, T. Organ
Best Players: J. Etto, A. Drinkwater, K. Emery, J. Vlatko, E. Cole, A. Lefevre
Sydney AFL Men’s Premier Division Ladder After Round 3
1 North Shore Bombers 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 435 55 790.91 100.00
2 Sydney University 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 408 114 357.89 100.00
3 UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 384 134 286.57 100.00
4 St George Dragons 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 297 167 177.84 66.67
5 Inner West Magpies 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 192 260 73.85 66.67
6 Pennant Hills Demons 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 291 198 146.97 33.33
7 Camden Cats 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 105 270 38.89 33.33
8 East Coast Eagles 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 165 385 42.86 0.00
9 Manly Warringah Wolves 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 111 287 38.68 0.00
10 UTS Australian Football Club 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 74 592 12.50 0.00