Battle for the Top goes to the Sharks!
Extract observations from former leading Tigers full forward Michael Niesen now commentating on QBN FM 96.7 I went to the game pretty keen to see how the young Tigers (who have become the most improved team in the Eastern Conference of NEAFL) would fair against one of the powerhouse clubs of Queensland. Conditions I thought would have suited the home side but it was evident early that the bigger bodies of Southport would be difficult to compete against for 4 quarters. The absence of Kade and Ben Klemke along with Jarrod Atkinson was always going to make the job harder.
The opening quarter (after the first 6 minutes) was an even affair but unfortunately for the Tigers the visitors kicked 3 quick goals to start the match. The Sharks showed plenty of pace and had clean skills as they shot out of the blocks to open a handy lead early in the term. But credit to the Tigers who slowly started to get back into the match and only found themselves 2 goals down at the first change.
The 2nd quarter was again a hard fought affair with both sides showing desperation in cold wet conditions at Dairy Farmers Park. The game became an arm wrestle with neither side giving an inch and the visitors would have been happy going into the sheds with a 16 point advantage.
The Tigers have been fantastic in each of the third quarters they have played this year with expectations they would continue the trend. It was not to be. It is often described as the premiership quarter and in the first 15 minutes the cream rose to the top. Southport totally dominated this period. Their work rate running back and moving forward was outstanding as they blasted the contest out of the water with a 7 goal blitz.
In all the visitors kicked 8 goals for the term but the 7 goals in the opening 15 minutes effectively killed the game as a contest. They had winners all over the ground. Credit to the Tigers who after being shell shocked by the 15 minute burst held firm for the rest of the term to stem the bleeding. The Sharks led by ten goals at the ¾ time break.
Injured playing Coach Kade Klemke was livid with his charges at the last break and obviously asked for more effort from his side and credit to the Tigers they battled well in the last term and outscored the visitors 3 goals to 2. Both sets of players looked very tired come siren time and while the margin was 55 points in the end, the game was a better contest than the scoreboard may suggest.
Southport had bigger bodies, their work rate and willingness to help each other was tremendous, they were cleaner moving the football and always outnumbered the Tigers at contests. The game will be a great lesson to the Tigers who for large chunks of the game gave as good as they received from their opponents and when you consider 10 of SP’s goals game in 21 minutes (3 goals in the first 6 minutes of the first term and 7 goals in the first 15 minutes of the third) the Tigers more than matched the Sharks for 80% of the game.
The lesson they should take away from not just this week but last week against the Swans is that against the very best sides they need to maintain the effort for 4 quarters because any lapses will be punished. When you consider where they were this time last season they are rapidly on the improve. They showed today that their best is good enough but they need to do it for longer and share the work load better.
It was great to see Mitch Daniher back to the form that won him consecutive Mulrooney Medals (2009, 2010). He along with Will Griggs, Nathan Kerlin, Josh Bryce, Andrew Swan and Toby Conroy were the stand outs.
Queanbeyan 1 3 9 4 8 32 5 11 41 8 12 (60) Southport 3 3 21 7 6 48 15 10 100 17 13 (115)Queanbeyan Goal Kickers: B. Fruend 2, W. Griggs 2, P. Franchi 2, J. Bryce , J. KAVANAGH Best Players: M. Daniher, R. Jaques, N. Kerlin, J. Manie, J. Kirkwood, J. Bryce Southport Goal Kickers: J. Baxter 4, J. MILANI 3, A. Knight 2, C. Hughes 2, S. Seddon , A. Flagg , E. Mallan , G. Screech , S. Whish-Wilson , J. Burge Best Players: D. Wise, S. Whish-Wilson, T. Daniel, J. MILANI, J. Burge, S. Seddon
AFL Canberra Division 1
The most exciting game of the day. The Tigers outlasting a determined Eastlake combination in cold and wet conditions.
Credit to both teams with the scores fluctuating throughout the game. It was a case of “we kick two goals, then you kick the next four” and so it went on all day until time ran out with the Tigers just a goal in front at the final siren.
Once again this team just seems to bring the best out in each other. The promotion of Captain Beau Watts, James Manie plus Ben Walsh to NEAFL and the loss of Andrew Lieschke, Michael Redmond through unavailability seen the return of veteran Dennis Quade (out of retirement again), plus Ricky Stein, Shaun Vanholland and Ellie Maatouk.
They fought a determined match in front of a small but vocal crowd that endured freezing conditions by days end.
Full credit to each and every player (from both teams) for a determined effort. To mention better players for the Tigers is hard to do but without doubt Kaeden Watts played his best game for the Club. Daniel Campbell posted 5.4 and could have had a couple more but for his unselfish hand and foot passes to others in better position in front of goals. Jake Oram enjoyed a welcome return to form.
Tom Hollis makes it hard for the ‘jumper washes” with his desire to win at all costs. He loves the wet and muddy grounds. Greg Hair, Casey Walsh, Haydon Kelly and best on ground Mitch Heaslip were all solid throughout the match.
A great result in tough conditions which now see them just half a game away from second spot on the ladder behind the Demons.
QUEANBEYAN 3 3 21 6 4 40 9 8 62 11 11 (77) EASTLAKE 3 2 20 8 3 51 9 8 62 10 11 (71)QUEANBEYAN Goal Kickers: D. Campbell 5, K. WATTS 2, G. Hair 2, S. Kelly , T. Hollis Best Players: K. WATTS, L. WALKER-EASTICK, D. Campbell, J. Oram, S. Kelly, M. Heaslip EASTLAKE Goal Kickers: S. Mardling 4, X. McMahon 2, M. Bialkowski , S. Gumley , C. O”Rourke , S. Kenny Best Players: A. WATT, D. O”Rourke, S. Mardling, M. Bialkowski, P. Blake, A. Moloney
Under 18 Rising Stars
The Tigers Under 18 Grade team continued on their winning way with a solid 38 point win over second placed Eastlake. Conditions were cold, wet and muddy with early play more like a Rugby contest than an AFL game. A mix up in days resulted in the promising Cody Haub not playing. His strong pair of hands and excellent kicking would be missed but the team didn’t fault with some excellent performances.
It was hard not to select Alec McCormick amongst the best. He is improving each week with his “skilful and adroit handling of the leather”. Partner in crime Jonno Bowyer continues to dominate his backline position as does Kyle Farrugia in whatever position he is placed. Graham Lennon shows glimpses of what could be ahead of him if he continues to put the effort in on the training track. Newcomer Mitch Haley playing his first game at DFP (even though being with the Club for 2 months) was strong throughout but best on ground goes to Kieren Shea with a tally of 3 goals.
His experience playing a few games of NEAFL has lifted his confidence and knowledge of the game. He is certain to be promoted again before years end.
Queanbeyan 3 1 19 3 1 19 5 4 34 9 5 (59) Eastlake 2 2 14 3 2 20 3 2 20 3 3 (21)Queanbeyan Goal Kickers: K. SHEA 3, S. WRIGHT , G. LENNON , A. McCORMICK , J. Macdonald , M. LAWRENCE , D. HESPE Best Players: J. Bowyer, K. SHEA, G. LENNON, M. Haley, K. Farrugia, J. Macdonald Eastlake Goal Kickers: T. CHAPMAN , D. Owen , H. Bryant Best Players: B. Halse, S. Brown, M. Ryan, H. Bryant, M. Marinelli, L. James
All grades play Ainslie this weekend on Saturday at Ainslie Oval
Queanbeyan 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 (7) Ainslie 1 1 3 8 5 9 6 9 (45)
Queanbeyan Goal Kickers: Hannah DunnBest Players: Kodie Woodbridge, Tess Kolaric, Maddi Skinner, Tegan Tisma, Mel Hurley, Hannah Dunn
The Tigerettes put up a much improved performance on the weekend despite going down to Ainslie by 38 points. The margin is about 10 goals smaller than the team’s previous best effort against Ainslie and also a significant improvement from other results against the top teams this season.
The improvement in the team came from strong individual performances from the usual suspects – recent ACT representatives Hurls, Hannah and Tegan– combined with season best performances from Kodie, Tess and Maddi. Kodie in particular was outstanding for the team in the ruck using her size and strength to the best of ability and finding plenty of the ball as well. Kristol Pyke also looked very promising in making her debut for the team.
In the end the Tigerettes were unable to stop Ainslie’s more talented players, in particular their half forward who kicked all 6 of their goals and who was quite obviously ‘the difference’. Still the performance did leave the team feeling as though they are heading in the right direction as we mark the half way point of the season and start our return matches commencing with Gungahlin at Amaroo on Sunday at 10am.
Cheers Dave Matthews