Richard Sandow Medal: Brock Ellis (West)
Goals: Jackson Ruddock (West) 3, Codie McEvoy (West) 3.
The Mighty Robins reigned supreme on Anzac Day, defeating rivals and grand finalists from last season, Central, in a comprehensive performance.
A tight tussle in the first two quarters was blown wide open in the second half by West as the contest highlighted two sides headed in different directions. Central have some work to do to return to the premiership conversation, whilst West have come along in leaps and bounds under new coach Nathan Pearce.
It was a 50th A-Grade match to remember for Jake Trengove as he bagged two majors. The fixture also saw Liam King’s 150th match for West. Brock Ellis won the Richard Sandow medal for the best player on the day.
West coach Nathan Pearce was pleased with the second half performance, but conceded they had a few areas they needed to tidy up going forward.
“Our disposal was atrocious in that first half. It took us a while to get going. We had a lot of forward entries for little result and that is something we need to clean up.”
The West coach did enjoy the performance of Brock Ellis and was quick to praise Jordan Tonkin and Sage Hocking for their performances too.
“I had him (Ellis) as our best (player). He’s a talented young fella who has worked hard to get himself right. His fitness is right up there. He’s got his strength up. We’ve moved him from a forward mid to a mid-forward this year and gave him a bit of a challenge with that. I think that he’s taken it with both hands and really proved yesterday that he’s going to be an elite midfielder for this competition.
“I think there were a couple really close to him in terms of performance. Jordan Tonkin played well and gave us a lot of run from halfback. Sage Hocking was another one who I thought played well in that midfield.”
For Central, the final kick into the forward line consistently let them down and they were punished on the rebound often. Coach Sheldon Hall says they need to improve.
“Credit to West, they showed they are going to be a tough team to beat,” the Central coach told the Truth.
“The good thing is we will be training two nights a week now until September. It will give us a chance to work on our fitness and two way running. Lucky for us it is just round one and we can continue to build.”
Although the defeat was comprehensive, Hall managed to find some positives, highlighting the performances of Josh Hanford and Riley Jennings in particular.
“Josh was one of our better players, and Riley Jennings was good down back too. We had four guys make their A-Grade debut and they held their own.
“Now we are looking forward to our round two game against North, “Hall said.
Round two sees West take on South in a mouth-watering contest, whilst Central will look to bounce back against North in a double header at the Jubilee Oval on Saturday.