Myrtleford Times

Saints find a silver lining in 11 goal loss

- BY NATHAN DE VRIES ndevries@

MYRTLEFORD Saints will take away a lot of positives from their 66-point loss against Wangaratta on Saturday, going down against the 2019 grand finalists 15.23 (113) to 7.5 (47).

The Saints had a powerful first half, entering half time 10 points in front before Wangaratta accelerate­d and took the game out of Myrtleford’s reach.

Saints coach Jake Sharp said his boys knew they were in for a fight.

“We knew we were coming up against the best and we wanted to see where we’re at,” he said.

“We saw some areas of our game plan that we really liked, and alternativ­ely we saw some areas we know will need a lot of work going forward.

“We thought we performed reasonably well for a half, and just didn’t follow our game plan as closely as we would’ve liked in the last half, and in turn received the result it ended up being.

“Definitely a positive is when we were getting into attacking areas we were capitalisi­ng on that; we obviously didn’t get enough but we’ve identified the areas we need to clean up in order to get more and that’ll be a focus in the weeks going forward.”

Saints full forward Ryley Sharp kicked three goals, supported by two from half-forward Lachlan Dale; Brody Ricardi and Matthew Munro each chipped in with one goal apiece.

Sharp praised the entire squad but gave props to the backline, who he said had a tall task against the Magpies forwards.

“We were really pleased with our back seven, in particular the performanc­es of Nathan Laracy, Brady Sharp, Hugh Wales and Ryan Crisp; they had some big jobs on some power forwards,” he said.

“We thought they battled all game and really probably ended up getting the chocolates against their opponents.

“We just didn’t have enough pressure on the ball to help those guys out and in the end they were able to capitalise.”

The Saints will go up against Lavington Panthers this weekend, who will head into the matchup with some confidence after a big win over Wodonga Raiders, but Sharp said his team is ready for them.

“It’ll be good to put those changes into place this weekend and keep growing as a unit,” he said.

“We’re in a year where we’re a bit unsure about what it holds after having 18 months off; how long that adjustment period takes we’re unsure.

“We’d like to think we’re pretty settled at the moment, just need to sharpen up in a few areas and we should be playing consistent footy.”

The reserves match saw a closer contest but a familiar result, with Wangaratta running out winners 8.11 (59) to Myrtleford’s 7.2 (44).

Declan Bren kicked two goals in a best on ground performanc­e, with Anthony La Spina, Wayland Wales, Jai Dykstra, Jarryd Wallace and Riley O’Shea all getting on the scoreboard.

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 ?? PHOTO: Kieren Tilly ?? BATTLE FOR THE BALL: Myrtleford’s Dan Roche fighting off Ben Reid and Ben Speight on Saturday night.
PHOTO: Kieren Tilly BATTLE FOR THE BALL: Myrtleford’s Dan Roche fighting off Ben Reid and Ben Speight on Saturday night.
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