Tamworth AFL Round 2 Review
Match One - New England Nomads 23.17.155 def Muswellbrook Cats 7.3.45
The Cats made the long trip north on the highway to take on the Nomads on the wide expanse of Bellevue in a game that was always going to be tough. They would have been bouyed by their victory last weekend over the Dogs and certainly came out figthing in this one. However the Nomads, stung by last week's close loss, took control of this game and ran out convincing winners. For the Nomads, Simon Stubbs was their principle goal kicker, slotting 7 majors, with the ever dangerous Weston Whitby and Dave Richards each kicking 4. For the Cats, they were well served by journeyman forward Stu McAdam who kicked 4 of his own, with Jackson Bower capping a great game kicking 2 majors. Bower was the Cats best, getting great support from Brian Martin and Nathan May.
Match Two - Tamworth Kangaroos 21.11.137 def Tamworth Swans 8.12.60
The first round of the Billy Holder Cup saw both teams enter the match under different slightly different circumstance than in the past. The Roos were coming off a Round 1 pounding, whilst the Swans were full of confidence after a close win against the Nomads. The match started as the arm wrestle many pundits predicted, and the Kangaroos managed to scrap a an 11 point quarter time lead, despite just one more scoring shot than the Swans. It seems the Rooboys continued their dead eye shooting from the previous week, and in the second put 5 straight goals on the board, compared to the 3 goals 3 behinds of the Swans. That all equated to a 19 point half time lead for the Roos, despite having one less scoring shot than their cross town rivals. Whilst Tim Cotter would have been pleased with his boys, I doubt Rick Watt could have been happy with the execution of his Swans and would have demanded a little more poise from his playing group. The third quarter is famously called the Premiership quarter, and while the game turned into a fierce battle, the Swans could not manage to kick a major, whilst the Roos put on three of their own to take a stranglehold of the match. They put it bed in the fourth, and in contrast to their effort 7 days earlier, the Roos ran the game right out to finish resounding 77 point winners. Such was their dominance, they restricted the Swans to just one second half goal, while piling on 10 of their own. Dan Overeem was back to his dangerous best, booting 6 goals for the victors, ably supported by Coach Cotter and Alex Hudson who kicked 4 each. Carl Frazier was the Roos best, with strong games from Brock Quinn and Lachlan Maloney in support. For the Swans, Simon Freer was their main avenue towards goal, slotting 3 majors and being their best afield, while Dean Finlay and Mark Verrall was also strong.
Match 3 - Gunnedah Bulldogs 11.9.75 def by Inverell Saints 25.25.175
In a TAFL first, the Bulldogs hosted the Saints on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Kennel. The Dogs were coming off a close loss in Muswellbrook and were well fired up for the first home game of the year and the Saints were keen to become the first team to win away from home in 2012. After a hectic start, the Saints settled the better and despite a close first 15 minutes in this one, they kicked away late in the quarter to take a 38 point lead into the first change. The Dogs though were not going to be pushed around, and led by some great goals to Chris Gee fought back hard early in the second to keep the game close. The Saints again steadied, before the Dogs had the better of the last 5 minutes of the half to keep the margin at 49 points at the long change. Into the third quarter it was still the Dogs who looked the better, before the Saints finally started to asert their dominance, primarily through the midfield as Leigh Turner provided great service to his on ballers, and Mke Gould dominating across half forward. At the final change, the Saints had increased the lead to 68 points and were keen to continue with a strong last 25 minutes. That they did, piling on another 6 last quarter goals to 2 to take the final margin out to an even 100 points. Gould finished a successful day with 9 goals, supported by Nick Baird who managed 6 of his own. Saints debutant Marc Bauer was their best, with Rusty Brien and Joe Kimmince also strong. Gee finished with 5 goals, and Jesse Dixon slotted 3 of his own in a strong display. Dixon was amongst the Dogs best, while Shane Murphy and Paul Bushby earned praise for their defensive efforts.