After a horror 131-point loss to Launceston in Round 2, North Hobart fronted up on Saturday to host Clarence at North Hobart Oval. While they may have lost the game, the Demons definitely showed their supporters a much improved performance, Ryan Rosendale writes.
Going into Saturday’s round three clash, many outsiders questioned whether North Hobart would be able to respond from their shattering defeat to Launceston the week prior.
Those questions were answered relatively early as North Hobart brought a highly contested and physical contest to Clarence, who in-turn, took it right up to the inexperienced Demons.
“It was a tough game. I thought it was always going to be with us coming off the bye and North Hobart putting in a massive effort after their week last week so we always knew it was going to be a tough game and that’s what we got,” Clarence midfielder Brady Jones said post-match.
“They actually beat us at stoppage and contested ball in the first quarter and once we rectified that we were okay in the last three,” he said.
After a highly entertaining first half, the young Demons were only 15-points down at the main break with the highly favoured Roos having to reassess the game at half-time.
“We tried to work out what was happening in the game and why we couldn’t get on top and we worked out we just needed to get even numbers around the ball and in our forward half and once we could do that and play one-on-one footy we got it back on our terms,” Jones said.
It was a much different second-half as Clarence were able to hold North Hobart to the solitary major (kicked in the fourth quarter) and run out comfortable 64-point victors.
While the second-half didn’t go their way, North Hobart coach Richard Robinson was pleased with how the boys responded from their round two defeat.
“I think we got the response, particularly early. Obviously we fell away towards the end but we asked for 80 tackles before the game and we finished with 89 so that’s a tick.”
“Even though they’re pretty young, they are a proud group and we had to respond and I thought we did.
“Even in the first quarter I think we had the game on our terms but just before quarter time the Roos kicked a goal from one of our mistakes and we just needed to hold and run the clock down but that’s just inexperience and we will learn from that,” Robinson said post-match.
For the Roos, Jones was prevalent all day with Jake Cox also lively up forward with three goals, while for the Demons young Callen Kilpatrick was named as best afield for the hosts.
Clarence now face their most challenging test of the season with a three week period of playing North Launceston (H), Launceston (H) and Glenorchy (A), the three sides considered by many to be in contention for the premiership.
Meanwhile North Hobart face Glenorchy at KGV this Friday night from 7:15pm to kick off round four action.
“We’ve just got to recover really well and then embrace the challenge,” Robinson said of the Demons’ daunting Friday night test.
“They’ve (Glenorchy) knocked off the Bombers today by 50 points so they are travelling really well. There will be some match-ups we’ll have to get right, obviously Jaye Bowden is all class so he will get some attention, but they’ve got a deep midfield with (Brayden) Webb and (Rhys) Mott, so it’s another challenge for our young guys,” he said.