There may have been games off the field too

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

IN AN age where con­spir­acy the­o­ries abound, the more scep­ti­cal AFL ob­servers might be­lieve they have ev­i­dence to pros­e­cute the case that the pow­er­ful South Cairns Cut­ters club is de­lib­er­ately not pre­sent­ing its best side when com­ing up against the un­de­feated Crocs.

Con­spir­acy the­ory or cir­cum­stance? Cal­cu­lated strat­egy or con­ve­nient oc­cur­rence?

To be sure, all pos­si­bil­i­ties are be­ing taken into ac­count by as­tute Crocs’ coach Brad Cooper. Fol­low­ing his team’s dom­i­nant per­for­mance over the un­der-manned Cut­ters last Satur­day, Cooper was quick to dis­count the 125 point mar­gin as he alerted his play­ers to the re­al­ity that, come Septem­ber, the Cut­ters will field a far more com­pet­i­tive and star-stud­ded line-up in the fi­nals.

The Crocs ab­sorbed the ini­tial body pres­sure ap­plied by the Cut­ters and had opened up

a com­fort­able 38 point lead by quar­ter-time.

Ruck­man, Josh Wil­son, was us­ing his mas­sive frame to ad­van­tage and sup­ply­ing his slick on-ballers, Peter Bury and Matty Med­craft, with first use of the Sher­rin.

Rangy tall-for­ward, Lee Sta­ple, de­spite cop­ping a big hit early in the game, came back to take some tow­er­ing marks and fin­ished with three ma­jors.

Tod Shap­ter and Dy­lan Wear­moth were gath­er­ing plenty of hard-ball- gets as the

ram­pant Crocs at­tacked re­lent­lessly.

The Crocs’ de­fend­ers were ruth­less in their smoth­er­ing of the Cut­ters’ dan­ger­ous for­wards with Wes Glass, Jono Hobbs and Declan Kelly lead­ing by ex­am­ple.

The Cut­ters could only man­age three goals for the match, an im­pos­ing statis­tic not lost on coach Cooper in his after-game de­brief.

Con­sis­tent winger Brett McKe­own was gath­er­ing pos­ses­sions at will and was well sup­ported by the hard-run­ning Jack Ri­ley.

By the last change, the game was well over as a con­test and the Crocs glided to a com­mand­ing vic­tory.

There was lit­tle cel­e­bra­tion in the Crocs’ camp as coach Cooper high­lighted the Cut­ters’lack of man-power on the day, with­out go­ing into de­tail.

But the con­spir­acy the­o­rists have plenty to spec­u­late upon!

Best play­ers: Josh Wil­son, Wes Glass, Lee Sta­ple, Brett McKe­own, Peter Bury and Tod Shap­ter.

Lead­ing goal­kick­ers: Lee Sta­ple and Jack Ri­ley 3, Brad­shaw, Med­craft, Gross, Maw­son and Chap­ple 2.


Matt Med­craft gets a hand­ball away early in the se­cond term of the Crocs vs Cut­ters. The score­board al­ready shows the destiny of the match.

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