For the first time in 2018, Lauderdale were able to string together a second consecutive victory with Saturday’s win over North Hobart, yet as Ryan Rosendale writes, Bombers coach Clinton Brown expects a lot more from last year’s grand finalists.
Fresh off a bye and facing a side that had been smashed by 172-points the week prior, many expected the Bombers to be able to string together a complete four-quarter performance to get their season back on track; and while they managed to get the four points, interim-coach Clint Brown described the way his side finished the game as “pretty disappointing”.
After notching up their first victory over the Tigers two weeks ago, the Bombers were challenged all-day by a much improved North Hobart outfit, eventually running out 42-point winners 11.23 (89) to 6.11 (47).
Yet after getting the game on their terms in the third quarter, the Bombers fell away badly in the last with the Demons not only winning the quarter on the scoreboard – 2.6 (13) to 1.5 (11) – (which probably didn’t reflect their dominance) but also easily winning the ball in general play.
“We got the four points which was handy but the way we went about today was pretty disappointing,” Brown said post-match.
“I made it pretty clear after the game (about the last quarter). There was a few guys coming in a smiling as you do because you’ve got the four points, but we battled hard for three quarters and to just drop away in the last quarter was very disappointing.”
Brown admitted that the lapse could have been a mental issue and the body language of “some guys” will be highlighted during the week.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Bombers with midfielder Rhys Sutton winning plenty of the ball and kicking two goals on the way to his best game of the season while former Gold Coast Sun Jacob Gillbee kicked the first goal of the game and finished with two majors on his return.
“We told him (Gillbee) that the expectations from us weren’t going to be high. He hasn’t played footy for a period of time but I actually thought he did some good things early, obviously his match fitness isn’t where he or us would like it but I thought he contributed.”
For the Demons, Richard “Bear” Robinson was impressed with the response and fight of his group after last week and while pleased with their last quarter fightback, he put the defeat down to a poor third quarter.
“The boys are disappointed, they can see they are improving but we’ve just got to learn to play four quarters of football.”
“I thought there were patches in the third quarter and probably the first quarter where we let ourselves down and Lauderdale kicked three or four goals, particularly in that third quarter with the wind, and the margin was too great at three-quarter time to really give ourselves a chance at getting back into it,” Robinson said post-match.
“To the boys credit it was 16 inside 50’s in the last quarter so we take out of the game that we can get it in there.”
Hugh M Williams’ ability to shape-up behind the ball and influence a number of defensive contests was impressive throughout the day while Robinson was also pleased with Tyler McGuinness’s decision making and ability to read the ball during the game.
With the bye this weekend, the Demons expect captain Hugh NJ Williams to return against the Tigers in round 8 while former Melbourne defender Colin Garland, who was close to playing against Lauderdale, will very-likely line up alongside him.
While the Demons got through the game injury free, the Bombers horror run continued with Justin Cooper finishing the game on crutches with a suspected knee injury while in-form ruckman Haydn Smith went down with concussion in the last quarter and isn’t expected to line-up against North Launceston this Saturday at Utas Stadium in the Grand Final re-match.
“Thor (Boscott) is hoping to be back training in two weeks but Bryce (Walsh) is still in a moon boot for two or three weeks so he’s a little while off,” Brown said when asked to provide an update on the club’s biggest long-term injuries.
“There’s a little bit of a rivalry that’s come about from last year (against North Launceston) and I know the players have a very bitter taste in their mouth from last year and while I don’t really want to go into what happened during the game, I think there’s a few that really want to redeem themselves.”
North Hobart 1.2, 3.5, 4.5, 6.11 (47)
Lauderdale 3.4, 6.10, 10.18, 11.23 (89)
North Hobart – P. Walker 2, C. Leek 1, C. Kilpatrick 1, S. Collins 1, S. Willis 1
Lauderdale – J. Gillbee 2, R. Sutton 2, B. McGuinness 2, T. Westbury 1, H. Kerinaiua 1, H. Smith 1, J. Perkins 1, T. Mosquito 1
North Hobart – T. McGinniss, H. Williams, S. Caswell, S. Willis, N. Lee, W. Peppin
Lauderdale – R. Sutton, A. Hevey, R. Wiggins, H. Kerinaiua, R. McManus, J. McGuinness