Northern Rewarded With Win
The Northern Knights silenced critics on Saturday by defeating the superior ranked Murray Bushrangers by 37 points.
Northern’s Zac Ballard kicked the game off in the right form, booting a huge goal from outside 50 to put the first score on the board. Effective teamwork saw the Knights kick another two through Bonaddio and Baker.
The game appeared to be very one sided with the Northern Knights controlling the play and restricting Murray from taking the ball outside of their forward line. However, up and coming star Matthew Taberner stood up for the Murray Bushrangers, kicking two of his four goals in the first term. At 197cm’s, the 19 year old provided his side with a strong target up forward and gave the Knights a reason to focus on their backline.
The Northern Knights finished the first term with a 15 point lead, some questioning if they had made the best use of the favouring wind advantage.
To Murray’s disappointment, the second quarter brought about a wind change across the ground that meant both teams were on an even playing field.
The Knights made the most of their luck, producing a nine goal to one second term, resulting in a 50 point half time lead.
Northern Knights Coach Anthony Allen felt that his side followed the game plan to a tee.
“We wanted to win the stoppages, particularly centre bounces which Murray is good at. Their main ruckman McGillivray was out and Sam Gilmore gave us ascendancy in the ruck. Our on ballers were dynamic at the stoppages and that was particularly so in the first half.
“We had been poor at inside 50m so that was a focus area for us. We got 60 to 30 for the game so that worked well for us.
“Our scoring at 15 goals seven behinds was also an improvement although five of the seven should have been goals. Our pressure was really good in the first half including several great spoils, tackles around stoppages and forward 50.”
The second half brought about a very different contest, with Murray regrouping and playing the style of football they have been known to produce.
The Bushrangers restricted the Knights to a mere two goals for the remaining two quarters and won the second half by 28 points. If it wasn’t for Northern’s mammoth second term, the game would have been in the balance.
“Murray worked harder after half time. Gibbins played very well across four quarters and got more help from other midfielders. Hodder was very good in the last term.”
Reviewing the match statistics, it is evident that the Northern Knight were more effective with their possessions and were given first opportunity with the ball, winning centre hit-outs 19 to 8.
“We had our best effort for the year across the board and it is the first time we will award all 15 possible votes in the B&F.
“Lennon, Bonaddio and McDonald were dangerous up forward; Lennon with two goals and Bonaddio with three. Perry kicked three plus had an impact on ball. Zac and Jacob Ballard were good on ball as was Vlastuin (6 clearances) changing at half back.
“Gilmore was influential in the ruck with 29 hit-outs and 5 clearances. Curnow was very good defensively as a running defender and kicking a goal as well as Liam Hunt at half back,” Allen said.
Both teams will experience a break this weekend with a Development Round in place. Round 16 will see the Northern Knights line up against the Oakleigh Chargers on the Saturday 18th and Murray Bushrangers will take on the Dandenong Stingrays on the Sunday 19th.