Eagles survive early challenge
Favourites head off Port storm
JASON Laycock helped New Norfolk recover from a tough start to a convincing SFL win on the road against an in-form Cygnet.
Cygnet had won six of its past seven games coming into Saturday’s clash with New Norfolk, and the Port was hoping to end the Eagles’ undefeated streak.
The home side started the game well and were leading the Eagles by 15 points at quarter-time but the belief that an upset could be on the cards was soon taken away when New Norfolk ruckman Laycock helped his side dominate the game in the second quarter.
The second half was con- trolled by the Eagles, who showed why they are yet to lose a game this year. At the final siren New Norfolk had blown the winning margin out to 57 points, scoring 18.16 (124) to Cygnet 10.7 (67).
The efforts of Laycock, who finished the game with seven goals, stood out to his coach Matt Smith.
“I reckon five of his goals came from when he was in the ruck,” Smith said.
“He worked really hard all day and I was really impressed with his work rate.”
Smith was also impressed by Cygnet’s fight early in the match.
“It was a really good, hard contest early,” Smith said.
“They [Cygnet] had a lot on the line this game, with them fighting for a top-three spot.”
Zeke Gardam was also dangerous in front of goal, finishing with five majors, and Marcus Parker continued his impressive form, kicking four goals and taking his season tally to 48 goals, the fourth highest in the league.
Smith is pleased with the form his forwards are in.
“Parker is a real focal point for us going forward but having said that we are able to spread our goals and rely on more than just a couple of players to kick our score,” Smith said.
Next week New Norfolk has a bye and it gives the team a chance to prepare for the last two games before the finals.
“We won’t change much this week,” Smith said. “We will keep working hard and train like we normally do.”
After the bye the Eagles play Dodges Ferry away before hosting Lindisfarne at Boyer in the last round.
STANDING TALL: Ruckman Jason Laycock.