Crocs top of the ladder
Port Douglas humiliate struggling North Cairns
THE return of many of the Port Douglas Crocs’ key players for last Saturday’s Griffiths Park encounter resulted in a 224-point drubbing for the North Cairns Tigers.
The massive margin, delivered mercilessly by the near full strength visitors despite the sloppy ground conditions, did much to boost the confidence of Brad Cooper’s reigning premiers, but little for the competitive aspirations of the League.
The obvious difference in standard between the two Final Score: Port Douglas 36 gls 24 bhs 240pts defeated North Cairns 2 gls 4 bhs 16 pts. Best: Matty Medcraft, Kurt Bradshaw, Ethan McCullough, Dylan Wearmouth, Adam Gross and Brett McKeown
sides will be a concern for League officials as they pursue an openly stated policy of expansion and equalisation.
The size of the Tigers’ loss will has cast a worrying shadow over the League’s plans to expand the competition to eight teams in 2018.
Add to this the state of the dysfunctional Lions and the current one-sided nature of the competition in many games this season augurs negatively, and the League needs to focus on stabilising the current languishing clubs before launching into an unsustainable eight-team competition.
Admittedly, the top five teams do present a competitive and vibrant contest when they meet.
However, the gap between them and the rest is daylight!
The Crocs’ performance on Saturday was ruthless and the returning leadership group of Wes Glass, Kye Chapple (9 goals) and Todd Schapter provided the spark for the Crocs’ onslaught.
It was wet weather footy at its best by the Crocs and the scoreboard dominance a reflection of this.
Eleven Crocs kicked majors and this, above all, signals the Crocs are anything but a oneman forward line.
The Crocs’ small forwards Kurt Bradshaw, Jesse Mawson and Adam Gross dominated. Running backs Declan Kelly, Jordan Cameron and Gavin Jacks repelled the few Tigers’ forward entries with ease.
On-ballers Dylan Wearmouth and Matty Medcraft won kicks at will, while the dominant ruck work of young tall, Ethan McCullough, supplied his running smalls with plenty of the footy.
As the Crocs go to the Easter break undefeated, their tcamaraderie will please coach Cooper the most.
But, as Cooper would admit, anyone can play well against a depleted and uncompetitive opposition.
Crocs on the way to a massive 224-point win over the Tigers