It was always going to be a tough ask for the East Coast Eagles in Round 4, down on troops and coming up against a hot Sydney University team, who themselves were still basking in the glory of their 204 point shellacking of UTS in Round 3. After three consecutive Runner-Up gongs, Sydney Uni look to be in a better position than ever to win a flag, thus an Eagles upset would have taken a sensational performance.
Whilst we came up short in our endeavor to claim our first victory of the season, East Coast did take some massive steps forward, especially regarding development of game shapes and structures. Even more positive, is the fact that East Coast took these leaps not as individuals, but as Coach Hayden Rickard believes “a whole squad”.
After a few days of pouring rain, the Kanebridge Oval track was noticeably heavy come the 2:30pm ball up for Premier Division, proving that an ensuing dogfight would decide the result. Uni looked to start strong and blitz their opponents early, however overwhelming backline pressure from East Coast reduced the Students to only 2.6 in the first term.
Moving forward, East Coast need to address their second quarters, as it was again their Achilles heel against Sydney Uni conceding 6 goals to 1 going into the halftime break.
Goals are always hard to come by in wet weather conditions, with it being considerably tough for players to gather clean footy and let their skills do the talking. This showed for East Coast in the second half.
Whilst our commitment and hardness in the contest and at the Sherrin never wavered, Uni proceeded to run away with the match. The Students displayed their unstoppable ability to create a wall around forward 50, and lock the ball in, creating repeat shots on goal.
A 61 point loss in may have been, a result which sends our boys to 0-4 for the season thus far, but as Coach Rickard maintains, there were plenty of positives to draw.
“Our fight and tenacity was on show across four quarters against an opposition stacked with talent and structure. Losing Karl Merson to a hamstring injury inside the opening minutes didn’t help, but, I thought we had solid contributions from 21 players that understand that only hard work will get us out of this form dip”
Baylee Jones put in a huge shift in his return game from injury. Ben Bourke had his best outing in 2020 thus far and Kieran Emery remains our glue in defence. Youngster Tim Organ had a quality showing in Eagles colours and Dan Saywell demonstrated really dangerous running patterns during his forward stints”.
“We remain a work in progress but I feel we are close to unlocking our potential moving forward. With some important players available in the coming weeks, this will help with our depth”.
Another home game for the Eagles is just around the corner, as we tackle Camden Cats in Round 5 at Kanebridge Oval. Expect a fiery contest as both sides will be desperate for the win.
|East Coast Eagles||1.1-7||2.1-13||3.4-22||4.4-28|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: E. Cole, K. Emery, T. Organ, B. Bourke, A. Savage, D. Saywell
Best Players: J. Bartholomaeus, N. Dale, A. Day, J. Hiscox, B. Hawtin, C. Williams
|1||North Shore Bombers||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||607||70||867.14||100.00|
|2||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||562||154||364.94||100.00|
|4||Inner West Magpies||4||3||1||0||0||0||0||266||327||81.35||75.00|
|5||Pennant Hills Demons||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||466||212||219.81||50.00|
|6||St George Dragons||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||364||241||151.04||50.00|
|8||East Coast Eagles||4||0||4||0||0||0||0||193||474||40.72||0.00|
|9||Manly Warringah Wolves||4||0||4||0||0||0||0||131||465||28.17||0.00|
|10||UTS Australian Football Club||4||0||4||0||0||0||0||89||764||11.65||0.00|