Sport

Next one in Lion

by
July 10, 2017

Seymour's Ben Clifton keeps the ball in the field of play as Rochester's Bailey Wileman goes to tackle.

Seymour's Rory Scopel tries to tear away from Rochester's Sam Brennan and Mitch Bright.

When a side’s best players are missing, the next tier need to step up.

Seymour was without Jason Cole, Brett Meredith and Saad Saad, while Rochester had to contend with Nathan Marrone and Steven Stroobants representing Victorian Country.

It was the Lions players who stood up exceptionally and filled the gaps as they showed plenty of class after a difficult two weeks with Cole ruled out for the season and Saad retiring.

They had a point to prove and did exactly that in the first quarter at Kings Park, setting up for a 39-point victory.

The home side blitzed Rochester as a clash between fourth and sixth had all the potential of turning into a blood bath.

Seymour was quick and moved the ball cleanly despite the wet surface, dominating through the midfield.

The Lions made it look easy to score so freely against Rochester, a side that has a notoriously stringent defence.

The Tigers conceded their highest score of the season in giving up 96 points, as the Lions topped the 95 Kyabram put on against Rochester in round three.

Marrone was absent from the half-back line and Stroobants was notably missing from attack, although Jarod Bacon stayed active for the Tigers to present them with limited opportunities as Seymour played scintillating football.

Within the first minute Andrew Sturgess had posted Seymour’s first goal, to impact the game in his first appearance for the club since round eight’s win against Benalla.

Rhys Clarke, Brandyn Grenfell, Matt O’Keefe and James Falcone all followed as the five unanswered goals established a 32-point advantage at quarter time.

Grenfell was potent when left in attack and teammate Hugh Robertson continued a fine run of performances.

But playing coach Brent Colbert said the challenge was always going to be backing up the first quarter for the rest of the match.

‘‘I obviously said we want to start well, but that was pretty slick wasn’t it?’’ he said.

‘‘We addressed it at quarter-time because we’ve had some good first quarters this year and as a coach you just know what’s going to happen and it happened.’’

The Tigers brought some more energy to the game in the second, but were wasteful inside 50.

Looking to centre the ball or be unselfish did not work as a vigilant Seymour defence headed by Brent Ryan intercepted passes.

With three goals decreasing the margin slightly, the Tigers created a more even contest, but should have been closer than the 28 points they were behind at half-time.

Rochester did enough to never allow Seymour to slacken, but the Lions attacked in the third quarter as the red ball should have been swapped for the yellow as the sky above Kings Park darkened.

In the final quarter the lights were turned on with two goals to Seymour debutant Jay Eager allowing him contribute to the victory as Colbert’s side learns to live without its stars.

‘‘It was a great feeling out there actually and it has obviously been a bit of an interesting week, but that’s all behind us now,’’ he said.

‘‘Instead of the old just worrying about ‘oh our top end have to do it’ they’re just like ‘that’s me now’ and we’re demanding it of the guys and saying to them now’s your time because these guys are going to come back eventually.’’

Rochester was forced to contend with no rotations late in the game with ruckman Sam Brennan (back), goal-kicker Perry Oliver (hamstring) and youngster Kane Moroney (shoulder) all to miss at least two weeks.

Combined with the injuries and absences of Stroobants and Marrone, Rochester coach James Flaherty said there was little chance of recovering from the first term.

‘‘We had our patches, but the first quarter was terrible, someone said we lost by 39, but we were 32 down with a quarter down, so it was never going to work well,’’ he said

‘‘I felt as a group the energy was all right, but they (Seymour) probably felt they had a point to prove with a bit going on in the last few weeks.’’

Ash Watson showed signs of being back to full fitness with a solid second quarter as the Morrison medallist played his first game back after injuring his hamstring in round four.

The Tigers’ first loss in seven weeks resulted in them dropping from fourth to sixth as the Lions rose one spot to fifth.

Scores

Seymour 5.5, 7.9, 9.14, 13.18 (96)

Rochester 0.3, 3.5, 5.6, 8.9 (57)

Lauren Bordin’s best

Seymour: Hugh Robertson, Brandyn Grenfell, Brent Ryan, Andrew Sturgess, Dylan Scopel, Jordan Hockley.

Rochester: Jarod Bacon, Jaycob Dingwall, Dillon Williams, Nick O’Connor, Ash Watson, James McPhee.

Goals

Seymour: Brandyn Grenfell 3, Jay Eager 2, Matt O’Keefe 2, James Falcone 2, Mitch Waite, Rhys Clarke, Ben Clifton, Andrew Sturgess.

Rochester: Jarod Bacon 2, Mitch Bright, Bailey Wileman, Jeremy Mundie, James McPhee, Perry Oliver, Dillon Williams.

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