It’s a tale as old as time, but one that proved no truer this past Saturday afternoon – football is a game of two halves.
From the first bounce at Picken Oval, both the East Coast Eagles and Western Suburbs Magpies launched into their season opening contest with confidence, looking to assert dominance around the stoppages. It was the Eagles who got on top early winning the hard ball, allowing a strong midfield to control the footy going inside 50, and maintain positive quarter and half-time leads.
Eagles head coach Hayden Rickard, who was coaching his first game for the club, had this to say on his side’s first-half performance “We were gaining parity in the clearances throughout the first two quarters, which allowed our tall forwards to dominate space and the scoring reflected this”.
However, as Rickard also mentioned, this was a game of two halves.
Western Suburbs are clearly looking to make some noise in 2020, evident in the recruitment of some top talent from leagues across the country. It was this added class that shone through in the second half, sneaking up in the third term to trail by a goal, before pouncing late.
The fourth quarter was the money quarter, and with an 8 to 1 goal advantage, the Magpies put our boys to the sword, despite the Eagles never giving up.
On the second half display, Rickard had this to say “When we lost the parity we gained in the first half, we invited the opposition into the contest and lost our way”.
Despite the 30 point loss, there were plenty of positives for the Eagles to take out in defeat. The coaching group gave a big wrap to speedy onballer Eddie Cole, winning best on ground honours in his first game for the club. In addition, Vice-captain Aaron Drinkwater turned in a ruggedly outstanding performance, and Ruckman Alex Foxall was also impressive, proving hugely important with his efforts in the scrimmage.
Especially in a shortened season there is no time to mope. The players know that, the coaches know that, and East Coast will be quick to move forward, shifting their focus on an epic battle against defending premiers UNSW this coming weekend at our Kanebridge Oval nest.
|Inner West Magpies||1.2-8||5.4-34||8.6-54||16.9-105|
|East Coast Eagles||4.2-26||8.6-54||9.9-63||11.9-75|
Inner West Magpies
Best Players: J. Bauer, S. Guilhaus, M. Klemke, J. Zoppo, P. Wilmot, M. Belbasis
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: E. Cole, S. Turner, A. Drinkwater, C. Edwards, R. Haupt, A. Foxall
|1||North Shore Bombers||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||162||20||810.00||100.00|
|2||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||178||48||370.83||100.00|
|3||St George Dragons||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||91||32||284.38||100.00|
|5||Inner West Magpies||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||105||75||140.00||100.00|
|6||East Coast Eagles||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||75||105||71.43||0.00|
|7||Pennant Hills Demons||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||45||109||41.28||0.00|
|9||UTS Australian Football Club||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||48||178||26.97||0.00|
|10||Manly Warringah Wolves||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||20||162||12.35||0.00|