Round 14 - Match Report

on 06 August 2018
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DANDENONG Southern Stingrays have all but sewn up top spot for the 2018 TAC CUP ladder, with a 17-point win against the Northern Knights that was played at Preston Oval on Saturday morning. 

The game, like the previous week was played in tricky conditions, with the wind dominating the scoring to the city end. 

It was also a day that nearly cost the competition leaders the win, with wayward goal kicking. At one stage of the game the scoreboard read 2 goals 11 points for the Stingrays-until a third quarter 15-minute patch, resulting in 6 straight goals. 

Another highlight for the Stingrays that the coaching staff wouldn’t be too happy about is for the second week in a row the Stingrays would lose the first quarter, even though they dominated inside 50’s and shots on goal. 

The highlight for the first quarter would be first game player Sam Sturt who bounced on the scene, after a superb year for Peninsula School, joined an unusual club- kicking a goal with his first kick in the TAC Cup. 

The second quarter was another gallant effort from the Stingrays defenders who had their hands full, not only contending with the repeat entries but the tricky ball flight. 

Lachlan Young found his groove repealing the high entries, with his younger brother Hayden and Dan Frampton causing the Knights forwards many headaches as they found it hard to penetrate the wall of Rays. 

Kicking away to a 19-point lead it took until the 20-minute mark before Corey Ellison managed to bring the margin back to a respectable 8-points in deficit for the Stingrays at the long break. 

Stingrays Talent Manager Mark Wheeler knew the Knights at home were going to be a tougher task than where they sat on the TAC Cup ladder. 

“For the second week in a row we faced similar conditions leading into the game...we knew the Knights at home with their added in’s would be tough game, but our leaders were looking forward to the challenge when we presented them with the scouting notes on Thursday night. 

“It took us a little longer to adjust to their style of play, which is probably the most disappointing thing that we took from the game. 

“Teams are doing a lot of homework on us- being the benchmark opposition players and coaches know if they can undo us a little, it will attract outside interest from AFL recruiters. 

“We will continue to expose the depth of our players too, this week we finally got the opportunity to expose a local young man who has had a Stella season with the Peninsula School/Mt Eliza Football Club. 

“Brett Lovett is the coach at Peninsula and has been singing his praise since we watched him in round 1. 

“It’s a great story once again, with someone outside the program just digging in -head down and bum up applying his craft aiming to get better each week. 

A half time address by Stingrays Coach Craig Black must have worked as the floodgates opened in the third quarter with a six-goal term, extending their winning streak to nine in a row. 

The only negative on the day would have been the final term with the Stingrays held goalless, also allowing the Knights to kick 3 goals. 

A good team balance of stats was shared with Stingrays players, which is the strength of the side -making it very hard for opposition sides to close them all down. 

Bailey Williams again booting two goals, his highlights reel of big grabs continues to build each week but this week his below the knees work and defensive pressure is what stood out the most. 

Fin Bayne had another best on ground performance playing more midfield time this week, as well as kicking 2 majors of his own. 

Captain courageous Campbell Hustwaite once again led the way, lifting his team mates in the second and third quarter pumping the ball inside 50 after getting first use from Bowman, Cumming and Schmidt who had to work a lot harder this week in the Ruck. 

There is a Bye this week in the TAC Cup for the Under 17 Vic Country futures game, as well as the APS/AGS representative school game that will see a few TAC Cup players from the Stingrays play in those games. 

After the break the Stingrays travel to MARS Arena, Ballarat to take on the Geelong Falcons on Saturday 18th August at 12.30pm. 

 

The Falcons had the biggest win in round 13 over the Bendigo Pioneers and have an outside chance of finishing 8th . They need to win all of their remaining games to secure a final spots, whilst also relying on the results of other games.