Crocs ready to snap

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE Port Dou­glas Crocs will be out to re­deem them­selves against South Cairns at the Croc Pit on Satur­day af­ter al­low­ing North Cairns to get away with the first game of the sea­son.

New Crocs coach Brad Cooper is con­fi­dent his new-look side will respond pos­i­tively to last week’s 13.13.91 to 10.9.69 de­feat at the hands of a re­vamped Rex Liddy in­spired North Cairns.

Be­fore the game, the op­pos­ing teams, match of­fi­cials, and spec­ta­tors ob­served a minute’s si­lence in mem­ory of the tragic loss of lo­cal young Croc iden­tity Graeme El­liot, and Melbourne Foot­ball Club great, Jim Stynes.

Poor kick­ing for goal let them down but the early signs for Port Dou­glas were omi­nous. Mitch Ni­chol­son and new­com­ers, co­cap­tain Sam Com­bridge and Kurt Brad­shaw, were prom­i­nent stop­ping many op­po­si­tion for­ward thrusts with strong de­fen­sive work but the dam­age had been done and the Crocs were down by 33 points.

What­ever coach Brad Cooper said to the boys at the quar­ter time break worked, as within the first two min­utes Kurt Brad­shaw had snapped two goals.

An­other new man Luke Serong found the goals and scores were al­most level.

Kick­ing into the breeze in the third quar­ter the Crocs were look­ing so much bet­ter. First to the ball, fiercer tack­ling and bet­ter team work now ev­i­dent as old and new team mem­bers started to com­bine more ef­fec­tively.

Port Dou­glas by now were down to only 18 fit play­ers and in the ex­tremely hot con­di­tions were un­able to sus­tain the pace and de­spite get­ting to within 15 points at three­quar­ter time, North Cairns kicked away.

“There were some good signs but we have a fair way to go and have to keep im­prov­ing if we want to make an im­pres­sion,” Cooper said.

“We lacked a bit of fit­ness and also have some work to do on our decision-mak­ing.

“You’re al­ways up against it if you’re 30 points down at quar­ter time, you’re just play­ing catch-up.

“But there were some pos­i­tive signs, the boys moved the ball well with hand and foot.

“We just have to stick to our struc­tures and lock the game down de­fen­sively when the mo­men­tum goes against us and not turn over the ball so much in their for­ward 50.

“It’s a very new team and they should grow from week to week, they trained very hard on Tues­day night and are keen to re­deem them­selves in front of their home crowd.”

Last week­end’s re­serves match was most en­ter­tain­ing with both teams go­ing neck and neck for al­most the en­tire match.

Early skill er­rors soon de­clined and play was of a good stan­dard.

The Crocs put in a ter­rific final quar­ter to run out win­ners by al­most three goals.

Luke Bloom, Kane Freyling, Jack­son Brown, Michael Pid­geon and Jules Smith put in ex­cel­lent per­sis­tent per­for­mances and Karl Zam­mataro showed he has lost none of his blis­ter­ing pace.

The re­serves match starts at 1pm on Satur­day at the Croc Pit with the se­niors play­ing at 3pm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.