Poor fifi tness fail­ing Crocs

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

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.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Snatched: Croc Luke Serong beats his op­po­nent

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