Round 1 saw us travel to Unley to face Sturt in what was the first of four times we play them at that venue this year. The trial form had been promising by our group as the players continue to add to their understanding of the game plan and improve their decision making and execution under pressure.
The first quarter saw us kick with a reasonably strong breeze and our men played accordingly – moving the ball fast and getting the ball deep to our forwards to competed well to see us take a 19 point lead in to the first break – Noah Hannagan and Beau Nunan both starting strongly with 2 goals each in the first quarter.
It was at this point that the conditions changed, the rain set-in and the game became quite scrappy. It was the first real time our group had experienced such conditions this year and took some time to adjust to the slippery ball. Our backline were holding up well and over the next two quarters restricted Sturt to just 4 goals to ¾ time and we took a 20 point lead in to the last change.
Sturt are a quality side and we always knew they would come back at us at some stage. They certainly did that, kicking three 3 quick goals to level the scores with just 10 minutes remaining on the clock. We had our fair share of the ball in the last term but kept kicking it back to Sturt’s numbers. In the end it was a behind by Lachie De Cesare that broke the deadlock with 8 minutes to go. This was the final score of the match as our midfield battled well to keep the ball in tight and we held on for a 1 point win.
Will Day was best on ground with 35 disposals, 11 marks and 5 tackles. Noah Hannagan and Beau Nunan were the main scorers with 2 and 1 goal respectively. Mac Nield and Tom Rundle led the clearances with 7 each. Our thoughts are with Austin Forbes who suffered a hip injury in the last quarter and we wish him all the best with his recovery.
Whilst we certainly have a lot of improvement to come this was overall a pleasing start to the season. This Saturday we play North Adelaide at home at 11am, it would be great to have some support on the day.