Tigers tamed by Devils for first time since 1946
The Devils faced an enormous task today, playing Mayne whom we haven't beaten since 1946. The game was played in bright sunshine with no wind at all. With Matthew Fels out, Dom Wili had to take on the ruck duties on his own as we have no other genuine ruckman at the moment. Mayne matched up taller all around the ground and they dominated the aerial contests in the first quarter. This meant they were able to control the ball and they had many forward entries.
The Devils had to put pressure at the contest and move the ball with runners to counter their height advantage. Our tackling lifted immensely from last week and our defence held up well against their relentless entries. At the first break, the score board told this tale with Mayne dominating the scoring opportunities but unlike last time we played them, we were still very much in the game. We had to maintain that pressure in the second quarter but also find a way to nullify their marking dominance.
Mayne kept to their game plan and were able to put on a couple of goals, but as the quarter progressed, our forward entries became more consistent. We were maintaining our pressure on the ball and Mayne had less time to move the ball. The Devils fought back well and went to the half 4 points in front, possibly against the run of play, but the pressure was being applied from every Devil. Captain T went forward and gave us an alternative target and led by example with a couple of goals.
Going into the third quarter we were conscious of the fact that Mayne had more scoring shots and that if we didn’t continue to apply the pressure, they would get back into the game. What was really pleasing was the way we kicked to the advantage of our team mates and this more than anything nullified the influence of their overhead marking superiority. Led by Dom Wili in the middle, we were able to get first use of the ball and the on ballers, led by Matty Johnson took control. We even had one centre stoppage with only 3 in the middle and Matty took the tap from Dom and ran around the defence of Mayne setting up another goal. Our avenues to goal were now very broad with full back Ben Cody slotting a good goal to really get all players pumped up for the final quarter.
The highlight of the 3rd quarter was the goal by Belly Nizigama. Belly took on the Mayne defence, dancing around a number of defenders and sprinting around the back of the defence from the boundary to run into an open goal. It will be exciting to watch the development of Belly as he picks up the pace and understanding of senior football.
Mayne are a quality team and we fully expected them to fight back in the last. There were times where they looked like they were right back on top, but the Devils regularly found a way to goal to hold them off. Jiaan Koch kicked a
great goal from the change rooms pocket that shifted the momentum back to the Devils. Today was a good team win where all players took on the challenge and worked for each other well. It helped to have both our captains, Glen Boyd and Jake Thomlison leading for the first time this year.
Yeronga: 0.2, 6.3, 12.6, 18.10 (118)
Mayne: 2.8, 4.11, 6.13, 10.13 (73)
Goal Kickers: J. Thomlinson 5, A. Davis 3, J. Koch, M. Johnson 2, M. Rolla, Z. Templeton, B. Cody, B. Nizigama, G. Boyd, J. Thomlinson
Best Players: H. Livesey, M. Johnson, D. Wili, J. Thomlison, J. Koch, N. Connolly, Ryan Yorston, K. Juracic, J. Lush, B. Codes, A. Davis, B. Davis