Tue. Aug 20th, 2019

Back-to-back wins “reward for effort”

Cannon Oscar Sasalu contests in the ruck during Calder's Round 6 contest against the Pioneers. Photo by AFL Photos.

Calder Cannons finding form

Written by Jarryd Barca

While the Calder Cannons Under 18 boys recorded back-to-back NAB League wins for the first time this season when they downed the Bendigo Pioneers in a dour Round 6 battle, assistant coach Brad Murphy believes it was only a matter of time.

“You could argue a case that we should be 5-1, (we were) in front of Oakleigh at three-quarter time and they’re the best side in it apparently and we had our chances against Tasmania as well,” he said. 

“It is reward for effort. We only made one change as well this week which was a forced change, if Sammy Graham wasn’t playing tomorrow there probably wouldn’t have been a change made and that’s a sign of stability and a sign of faith from the coach as well to put the faith in the guys.

“I wouldn’t imagine that there will be too many changes again next week so it was great to get back-to-back wins.

“It was a good, ugly win.” 

Calder prospectively faced a tough start to the season with matches against the highly-fancied Sandringham Dragons and Oakleigh Chargers to kick off its 2019 NAB League campaign. 

But they’re 3-1 since that point and playing with a confidence that Murphy thinks can drive them forward for the remainder of the season. 

“We’re 3-3 which is reality and are stuck in the ruck, with games coming up against sides that are against us on the ladder,” he explained. 

“If we can win those then I don’t see why we can’t be in the top four.” 

Murphy puts the Round 6 win down to what has proven to be an uncharacteristic fast start to the game.

The Cannons kicked the opening four goals of the contest to kick off proceedings – the first time in three matches they registered a major in the first term.

“It was a real focus coming in, obviously winning the toss and kicking with a decent wind in the first quarter probably helped.

“And efficiency as well I think we kicked four or five goals straight and then maybe kicked a point after that so all those things added up to starting well.

“The main focus for us as well was tackling. I think we had 20 tackles in the first quarter and plus we were in front in possession in the first quarter so I think all those things added up to a really good start and probably won us the game in the end.”