Crocs top of the lad­der

Port Dou­glas hu­mil­i­ate strug­gling North Cairns

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

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.

Pic­ture: BRETT PAS­COE

Crocs on the way to a mas­sive 224-point win over the Tigers

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