Sometimes in footy, playing a team on their home ground is an entirely different beast compared to your own. The Manly Warringah Wolves are the perfect example of this in the Sydney AFL.
Weldon Oval is always a tough place to win, and quite potentially the most challenging road trip in the competition. Whether the conditions are typically windy and overcast or not, Manly just know how to win at home, no matter the form guide.
East Coast were once again reminded of this in Round 7.
Approaching this clash, the Eagles were intent on implementing a new game plan piloted by Caretaker Coach Mick Sankey. With some fresh faces in the side reflecting the clubs ambition to provide younger players with an opportunity in the top grade, the squad had a tricky matchup awaiting them.
There were some fantastic signs early in the contest, indicating that we are beginning to embrace and adapt to our new systems. However, the challenge posed to the group continues to be focused on maintaining elite habits for four quarters.
Unfortunately, the dreaded second quarter was out undoing yet again. In a game which was dominated by tough contests and stoppages, East Coast fell away in the second term, allowing Manly to dictate the play and pile on 4 goals to 1, to led by 30 points at half-time.
Behind the 8 ball, we had to get desperate, and be willing to scratch and claw our way back. After an even third quarter which saw Manly keep their 5 goal lead heading into the all-important fourth quarter, it was GAME ON.
It was a barnstorming final term, with all that watched on sitting on the edge of their seat.
East Coast were on the hunt for goals, whilst Manly did everything they could to weather the storm and snatch their first win of 2020.
We played one of our best quarters of the season to close out this game. We never let up, and didn’t say die at any point. It was just too little too late.
Unable to convert late chances on goal, we went down by 2 points in an absolute heartbreaker. Manly were jubilant, stoked beyond stoked that they’d clinched victory.
Despite the loss we had some strong players across the board. Kieran Emery went forward in the final term after an impressive performance down back, and he spearheaded our late charge becoming a towering deep target. Eddie Cole and Jack Dimery showcased why they are such key players at East Coast, delivering sensational four quarter performances. In addition, Brandon Clark was his tackle-bustling self, whilst Cam Wilson and Dan Saywell were immense in more proof that we have a strong future ahead of us.
It was a tough pill to swallow, but the group remains committed and with an upcoming Back-2-Baulko local derby battle against our greatest rivals Pennant Hills, expect a resurgent East Coast in Round 8.
|Manly Warringah Wolves||3.4-22||7.10-52||8.10-58||9.10-64|
|East Coast Eagles||2.3-15||3.4-22||4.5-29||9.8-62|
Manly Warringah Wolves
Best Players: T. Sheldrick, M. Rogers, A. Robertson, T. Tenkyong, A. Fraser, A. Butler
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: E. Cole, J. Dimery, K. Emery, B. Clark, A. Drinkwater, D. Saywell
|1||North Shore Bombers||7||7||0||0||0||0||0||870||193||450.78||100.00|
|3||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||7||5||2||0||0||0||0||884||333||265.47||71.43|
|4||St George Dragons||7||5||2||0||0||0||0||766||328||233.54||71.43|
|5||Inner West Magpies||7||4||3||0||0||0||0||448||569||78.73||57.14|
|6||Pennant Hills Demons||7||3||4||0||0||0||0||654||424||154.25||42.86|
|8||East Coast Eagles||7||1||6||0||0||0||0||396||663||59.73||14.29|
|9||Manly Warringah Wolves||7||1||6||0||0||0||0||247||769||32.12||14.29|
|10||UTS Australian Football Club||7||0||7||0||0||0||0||199||1181||16.85||0.00|