Gotta hand it to Drew

Western Suburbs Weekly - - WorkPlace - FOR­WARD THINK­ING

with Josh Kennedy

THERE are al­ways a few nerves go­ing into round 1, even when you know you’ve had a good pre-sea­son.

We knew our prepa­ra­tion through the pre-sea­son had been solid, but you never re­ally know how that sits com­pared to the op­po­si­tion.

So pre-game there were a few but­ter­flies ahead of the clash with North Mel­bourne.

The other thing about play­ing North is that you al­ways know it’s go­ing to be a tough day.

They are well-drilled, gen­er­ally ex­cel in the con­tested pos­ses­sion count and make you work for any­thing you get.

For­tu­nately, af­ter a tight first half we were able to skip away to a bit of a break and even­tu­ally won by seven goals, which didn’t re­ally show the true ex­tent of how tight it was out there.

For a lit­tle while it looked like we were in a bit of trou­ble in the ruck be­cause Drew Petrie hurt his hand in the first few min­utes.

But he’s a tough com­peti­tor and bat­tled through with a frac­tured hand.

His abil­ity to push through the pain and play his role de­spite the in­jury was a ma­jor fac­tor in the win.

While he was be­ing as­sessed, Jack Dar­ling had to pinch hit in the ruck and I don’t reckon he’s played there since ju­nior footy.

So Drew be­ing able to play out the en­tire game and share the ruck with Nathan Vardy was very im­por­tant for us.

As you would ex­pect in the AFL, it doesn’t get any eas­ier this week against St Kilda, but we are look­ing for­ward to our first home game of the sea­son.

It will be great to have Sam Mitchell and Nathan Vardy play their first home games for the club and to ex­pe­ri­ence the unique at­mos­phere of play­ing at Subiaco Oval.

Un­for­tu­nately for Drew that won’t hap­pen this week, but hope­fully he doesn’t have to wait too long for the ex­pe­ri­ence.

The re­cov­ery time for frac­tures in the hand can be in­con­sis­tent, but let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long be­fore he’s back in the team.

While it is in­cred­i­bly dis­ap­point­ing for Drew, in his first game for the club, it will also cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity for some­one else and play­ers like Fraser Mcinnes and big Jonathan Giles will put their hand up to play.

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