Goals: Heath Caldwell (South), Harley Cannard (South) 4, Marcus Purcell (South), Joel Van Kemenade (South) 3
Last year’s A-Grade Premiers South Broken Hill Roos never looked back on Saturday, piling on the goals in a dominant display at Jubilee Oval in a 131-point thumping against North Broken Hill Bulldogs.
It took a while for South to register their first goal of the contest, kicking multiple behinds, but once the side got going, they just didn’t look back. An eight-goal-to-one second quarter (and halftime lead of 64 points) got even worse for North with a scoreless third quarter as the lead grew to 110 points at the final change.
North showed fight right to the end with two goals in the last quarter, but South still had the foot to the pedal and didn’t let up, registering a hefty final score and margin to get the title defence underway.
South coach, Craig Thomas, said he was proud of the group for executing a game style and game plan to perfection.
“It was a really positive start for us. We started later than any other club in the preseason but we thought we could get the timing right and it showed that we used the Lightning Cup as a bit of a hit-out for us and gave us that extra three weeks up our sleeves to get ready for North in Round One. The timing was perfect and the boys played outstandingly,” he told us.
“We want to try and balance [the performance] out. We had 11 different goalkickers. We didn’t have Cat [Cody Schorn] as our major goalkicker, so we’ve been working on some other ways to hit the scoreboard and to have 11 guys that hit the scoreboard in Round One was perfect, and it’s just an all-round great team effort. The whole 22 played their roles and the result took care of itself.
“I was really impressed with some of the younger guys. They all played outstanding jobs. [Joel] Van Kemenade, Marcus Purcell, they all did exactly the right things. Harry Butcher coming into the side, Harley Cannard came into the side, it was just a great team effort.”
“We’ve still got a lot more to go, we just tipped the iceberg, pretty much. We’ve got a lot more to work on. We haven’t seen much of West at all, they’ve got a lot of new players as well so we look forward to the challenge this Saturday.”
North coach, Mark Pitt, said his side was outclassed on the day, but was impressed by the side’s fight and spirit to not give up.
“We were up against a fantastic side on the weekend. We were outclassed by the better side on the day. South’s pressure was at an elite level, they played an exceptional brand of football,” he told us.
“We had a chat about [our fight and spirit] at three-quarter time, and I think in that last quarter, we pretty much matched them, maybe even better, in that last quarter. It’s a credit to the boys, they kept their heads up and continued to work together in the Bulldogs spirit and showed a bit of a good culture towards the club.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve just got to go through our training sessions, stick to our systems, make sure we’re a bit more organised and understand each other and become more predictable.”
In Round Two North face Central in the first of a Saturday, May 6 doubleheader at Jubilee Oval from 12.50pm. In the second game of the afternoon, South are up against West from 3pm.