Burgmann Fields, IL- Without the ‘mann’ brothers in Burg and Uhl and also missing Biggs, Crabs and Frenchy, the Tigers destroyed the short handed but still powerful Piranhas with a suffocating backline, great ball use and constant pressure that the Piranhas couldn’t handle, making many elementary skill errors and mental mistakes.
The Tigers started red hot and were never challenged in this one. Oscar Meyer, very vocal midweek about Wrigleyville’s borrowing of Piranha players last week, feasted on a great big piece of humble pie as the Rhinos Gordon Ambrosino, back from rockclimbing in Arizona and playing for the Tigers broke the game open with two first term goals, both from great marks. Brian Hoyt was busy after his poor showing last week and Crackers Brennan was everywhere, absolutely everywhere and doing pretty much what he wanted. His run from the center was a tribute to the ruck work of both new Tiger guns EP and Joe, both of whom were sensational throughout the whole game. Hoyt banged on number three for the Tigers before the Piranhas had even visited their forward line. When Brennan kicked number four, a rout was on the cards as the Tigers had winners everywhere. All Piranha forays forward were met by the great wall of Poncho and his pack of hungry Tigers including first gamer Rory, Art and Clarkey. The efforts from MacGlashan and Bluey in the overwhelmed backline for the Parkers were for nought as clearing kicks continually found the imposing arms of Tiger big men, Poncho, Joe, EP and Pace who merely drove the ball back inside 50 for their hungry forwards. At quarter time, a shell shocked Piranha outfit limped in 4.3: 27 to 0 to a verbal tongue lashing from the big Aussie from Corio Bay.
The second quarter started well for the Piranhas as Deri Morgan accepted a lovely tap from big Stace in the middle, had a bit of a run and banged home the fishes first. But then, Crackers, Tommy, Rory et al had other ideas and dominating posession, control the rest of the quarter. Fitz, continuing his fine form from the end of last season hit his straps and kicked the Tigers fifth with a bomb on the trot from about 40 out that brought a big cheer from the adoring crowd. Ambrosino, proving to be a right pain in MacGlashans backside popped up again with another grab and goal from distance that effectively put the game out of reach. With the Tiger backs pushing forward at will and the sheer domination shown by Crackers, Rory, Oscar, Clarkey, EP and Joe around the ground, it was a fair effort by the Piranha backs in Big Al, Bluey from St Louisy, Cisco, Nolan, Sammy Blundell and Chris to hold the Tigers to just two. At the half, a demoralised Piranha team saw an ugly scoreboard that read 6.5: 41 to 1.1: 7.
Wholesale changes were afoot in the Park as Ehlers went forward with Roofy into the ruck and Isadore onto the ball but still the Tigers, looking for retribution for the schelacking they received a the hands of the Piranhas in last seasons grand final, continued to rub their noses in it. Rory was able to mark 20 out dead in front after yet another break down in Piranha communication and he duly slotted his first major of his fleeting career to send the Tigers further up. When Oscar Meyer found himself alone in the pocket, his ensuing mark and goal effectively killed the game, setting off wild celebrations in Lincoln Square taht lasted most of the night. Ehlers was hit on the left tit by a lovely pass late in the quarter and kicked a bomb of a goal from about 45 yds out which offered some solace as the orange break was taken, Lincoln Square leading 8. 6: 54 to 2.2: 14.
The last quarter was an arm wrestle as the Tigers missed tonnes of chances (kicking 4 straight behinds… 5 if you include that of the Piranhas) but constantly won the ball at stoppages through the tireless work of Rory, Crackers and Fitz. Despit ethe height advantage enjoyed by the Piranhas, it was the Tigers who dominated the aerial batttles with new blokes EP and Joe taking grabs at will and being very ably supported by Poncho behind them mopping up anything that got through. The frustration on Roofys face was evident as the Piranhas, usually deft of foot and hand, repeatedly hit Poncho with long bombs after ignoring his leads and demands. Ehlers was able to take a late mark and kick his second of the afternoon as the whistle mercifully ended one of the worst afternoons in Piranha history (and there’s been a few!). The Tigers went on to celebrate a big win 8.10: 58 to 3.6: 24. With big guns missing from both teams, it’s hard to gauge the effect this game will have on the rest of the season but rest assured, the Piranha will bite back and be better for the run as they face off against Jezza Morgan and the fearsome Rhinos next week in a do or die game that the Piranhas must win.
|Tigers: Ambrosino (3), Rory, Meyer, Hoyt B, Fitzgerald, Brennan
Piranhas: Ehlers (2), Morgan D
|Tigers: Ambrosino, Rory, Fitzgerald, Brennan, Trimberger, Perry, Gizynski T, Bradley
Piranhas: MacGlashan, Carroll, Blundell, Borchardt