Chapple’s day but Cutters may yet ruin the party
WHILE the Crocs were enthusiastically celebrating power-forward Kye Chapple’s goal-kicking feats at the Croc-Pit on Saturday, against a poorly performing North Cairns, an ominous warning cloud came floating up the highway from Crathern Park, the home of the Trinity Beach Bulldogs.
The near full strength South Cairns Cutters had posted an eye-catching 45-point victory over the second placed home-side and, in doing so, staked a solid claim for premiership favouritism.
Chapple had brought up his century with a 16 goal matchhaul, but the euphoria surrounding his individual achievement began to wane with the news of the Cutters’ potent display. The reality confronting the Crocs, despite being undefeated this season, is that the Port boys are no longer, according to many AFL pundits, the pick for the flag in 2017.
As a result, Crocs’ coach Brad Cooper is facing a massive challenge to have his players fully hardened for the genuinely combative finals series that looms in September.
A suspicion, now verified, that the Cutters were strategically fielding under-manned teams when up against the Crocs will add a healthy dose of reality to Port’s preparation. With two games to play, a meeting with the Cutters in the final round will serve as a football-appertiser to an intriguing September finals’ banquet.
The Crocs faced little resistance from the Tigers and played pretty much at will.
Needing 6 majors in the last quarter, Chapple’s teammates were so intent on their star-forward bringing up his ton that the goal to clinch his century - his 14th for the day up until then- came from a closerange snap, the Sherrin having passed through five sets of Crocs’ hands (within a ten metre radius of the star-forward) before being delivered to Chapple to put on his boot.
He was immediately surrounded by Crocs’ players and adoring fans, including his mother.
The Crocs had many good players. But none better than on-ballers Todd Schapter and Mitch Bohm.
Chapple owned the day. But the Crocs don’t yet own September!
Best Players: Kye Chapple, Todd Schapter, Mitchell Bohm, Peter Bury, Josh Lea and Jono Hobbs.
Leading Goalkickers: Kye Chapple 16 (102), Matty Medcraft 5, Kurt Bradshaw and Mitch Bohm 3, Troy Lehman and Wes Glass 2.
Kye Chapple is chaired off the ground after a match in which he kicked 16 goals and racked up more than 100 for the season. It was the third year in a row he has passed a ton