Sport

Black and blue Pies

By Andrew Johnston

MOAMA by no means has reached panic stations.

But Saturday’s match against Nathalia exposed just how far the club’s developing side has to go.

The Magpies were not only beaten, they were utterly humiliated at the hands of the Purple army from Nathalia — the reigning premiers taking victory by a staggering 124 points.

Nathalia forward Adam Jorgensen personally outscored the men from Moama with five majors, while more than half the Nathalia side hit the scoreboard with a goal.

Moama coach Luke Eldridge was not one to sugarcoat his side’s performance.

‘‘We were really poor,’’ he said.

‘‘We are still developing as a group and it will take time, but there isn’t an excuse for producing a performance like that.’’

According to Eldridge, Moama’s intensity around the ball was strong in the opening half.

‘‘We were able to match Nathalia in terms of getting our hands on the footy and our ball use,’’ he said.

‘‘But it was a bit like the Tonny game, we weren’t able to sustain the effort for the entire match. Nathalia pushed us to the limit before the main break, so when we came back out for the second half, they were able to open us up. It’s a big ground so they were able to use the ball incredibly well and we could only sit back and watch it happen around us.’’

Nathalia kicked 15 goals to two in the second half, making for a long week of reflection for the Magpies as they prepare for the Three Jacks cup on Good Friday against Echuca United.

‘‘Really I think what we need most is the recovery,’’ Eldridge said.

‘‘We have a six day turnaround to get to the United game, it isn’t a lot of time to get ready especially for a young side.

‘‘As a group we believe our best football, when it is played a high intensity, is really good and can do some damage against good sides.

‘‘What is clear so far this season is we can’t maintain it for a full game, so we will have to keep working hard as the season goes on to make sure we can get it right.’’

The Magpies — who suffered a number of minor injuries on Saturday that saw them down to no bench in the final quarter — expect up to four players to return for Friday’s clash.