Poor fifi tness failing Crocs
PORT Douglas Crocs coach Brad Cooper will be looking for an improved attitude from his team when they tackle Centrals on Saturday after simple mistakes cost them victory last weekend.
The Crocs slumped to their third loss from four rounds this season after blowing a 34-point halftime lead over the Manunda Hawks at the Crocpit last Saturday.
It appeared as though the Crocs were on a winner, kicking the first goal after just one minute before Skip Gribbon added another and Luke Serong finished off a fabulous passage of forward play.
The second quarter started with tough, gritty football from both teams and 17-year-old Michael Mckeown replied to a Hawks major with a great goal of his own.
But the Crocs ran out of puff in the second half as the Hawks made the most of more accurate kicking and superior fitness to ease away with a 12.11.83 to 17.9.111 victory.
Best for the Crocs were Mark Nuggins with 35 possessions, mostly contested, while Kurt Bradshaw persisted all beat and beat his opponent, Mckeown showed maturity and a shrewd football brain beyond his years and Serong kicked five goals.
Cooper said while it will take a few more weeks to improve the fitness of his team he was looking for more effort against Centrals.
“The game was winnable, it’s just two-thirds of the side are lacking fitness,” he said.
“Our skills execution was way down and too many players were unaccountable to their opponent.
“I’d like to think we’ll get fitter as the season progresses but we need to turn our attitudes around right now.”
Cooper is hoping the addition of ruckman Julius Smith this week will add some starch to his side and wants to build on the strong performance of his midfield at the stoppages.
In the reserves last week, the game was marred as a spectacle as Manunda was unable to field 18 players. Crocs coach Darren Wall threw Under-16s player Chasely Nandy into the fray at halftime for his first senior game and he showed he would be a huge asset to the club with great pace and tenacity.
Match highlights included a top mark from Sam Evans followed by a long bomb goal, while Jason “Harry” Wilkie booted 11 goals.
Luke “Doggy” Bloom also played well in his final performance for the Crocs after nearly five years service, booting seven goals.
The final score was 27.13.175 to 2.0.12.
Snatched: Croc Luke Serong beats his opponent