SYDNEY AFL ROUND 3 2015
Article and Photos by Michael Shillito

On the ANZAC weekend, the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, before each match that was played, a ceremony of remembrance was held. An important show of respect to those who came before us, who served their country in the armed forces; and to those who continue to serve.
Lest we forget.

It had been an exceptionally wet week in Sydney, with storms, flooding and unplayable fields. Teams were forced to find places indoors to train, as grounds across the city were closed. All games except Premier Division and some Womens Div One games were called off.
But when Saturday came, the sun was shining and the skies were blue; and the venues scheduled for Premier Division games were opened up.

Over the last few years, Wests have made ANZAC Day their own; putting considerable work into their remembrance ceremony. Saturday was no exception, a solemn commemoration. This was followed by a high-stakes match between Wests, looking for their first win for the season, against the undefeated Pennant Hills.
There’s plenty of new faces in the Wests lineup, and it’s taking time for them to gel and understand each other’s strengths. It’s a contrast to the much more settled Pennant Hills side; who, while they have some coming in and out, have a very cohesive playing unit at the peak of their game. And so it would be in the first quarter, as the well-drilled Demons were in control of the contest. Five goals to one in the opening term led to a 25-point quarter time lead.
But the Magpies tightened the game up in the second term, drying up the supply route to the Demons’ forward line. It had become a much more physical contest than in the first term, a scrap in muddy conditions. It was much lower-scoring; but the Magpies were unable to make any dent in the deficit as it would be the Demons who would score the only goal of the quarter to lead by 30 points at the long break.
With only one goal on the board at half time, the Magpies were in trouble. But they came into the third term determined that if they were to lose, they would go down fighting. Contesting every ball and denying the Demons easy possessions, they worked hard to get themselves back in the contest. Reward for effort would come as they kicked three goals to two to win the quarter, a result of some determined football that would reduce the Demon lead to 26 points at three quarter time.
But it was still a handy lead for the Demons, and in the last quarter they ran away with the contest. The Magpies had toiled gamely in the middle two quarters, but tired legs had nothing more to give; while the Demons were able to maintain their run through the final term. The pressure valve had been released, the floodgates opened. And the Demons faced little opposition in the latter stages of the game as they pulled away.
Seven goals to two in the final quarter blew the final margin out to 58 points. The Demons’ undefeated status, and the winless record of the Magpies, remain intact. Matt Carey and Daniel Preen cleaned up on the forward line to finish with four goals apiece; with Carey, Damian Dell’Aquila and Lachlan Urwin putting in notable contributions around the ground to the Demon cause. It wasn’t a great result for the Magpies, but the tireless efforts of Yannick Milligan-Saville, Joshua Robinson and Paul Bevan couldn’t be faulted.

At the Village Green on Saturday afternoon, UNSW-ES played host to Manly. It wasn’t the easiest track to play on after so much rain; but it was the relentless pressure by the Giants more than the conditions that resulted in such a lopsided contest.
From the start, the Giants were in complete control. Controlling possession, moving the ball forward and denying the Bulldogs any easy possessions, the scoreboard pressure would be evident as the Giants got out to a convincing first quarter lead. Four unanswered goals and a 25-point margin was already a break too big for the Bulldogs to a chance to recover from.
The second quarter would be similar. The Bulldogs didn’t get enough of the ball to launch any sort of sustained pressure, and for much of the quarter it looked too big an ask to even get the ball inside the attacking 50 metre line. Meanwhile at their attacking end, the Giants were scoring goals with enough regularity to compound the opposition’s scoring deficit. With a return of five goals to one in the second term, the margin was a comfortable 46 point lead at half time.
The relentless pressure that forces turnovers and sees scoring chances created with regularity continued in the third term. At times the Bulldogs would look like finally breaking the shackles, and they did manage three goals for the quarter. But the Giants had all the answers with six goals of their own; and it could have been even more but for some wasteful finishing in front of goal. But with a 72-point lead at the last change, it was clear that this would be a day to celebrate for the defending champions.
After pulling off an unlikely comeback in the first round and then being defeated last week, this was the first chance this season for the Giants to record a big win; and with the Bulldogs on the ropes, they weren’t going to let this chance slip by. It was one-way traffic in the last quarter, six unanswered goals, as the margin went to three figures and the Bulldogs were powerless to stop the Giant juggernaut.
In the end, the margin was 109 points. For Manly, it was a return to their premiership form. For the Bulldogs, an afternoon where little went right and not what they were hoping to follow up their win against North Shore last week with.

The game at Sydney Uni No 1 between Sydney Uni and North Shore started an hour later than the other two Saturday games; and while it started under the same blue skies as the other games, ominous clouds would roll in during the second half.
Unusually, it would be the better weather that would see the lower-scoring football. The Students and the Bombers fought out a scrappy opening quarter, in which the pressure was tight but the ball-handling wasn’t great. It was a heavy ground, and both sides struggled to get any form of grip on the ball. But North Shore looked the better side in the opening term, kicking the only two goals of the quarter to lead by 11 points at quarter time.
The Students had struggled to get into the contest in the first quarter, but began to find their rhythm in the second term. Lifting their work-rate around the ground, the Students had some ground to make up in what would be another quarter of tightly-contested footy. But even when they lifted, the Bombers were equal to the task. The Students would win the second quarter with three goals to two; but on the scoreboard the Bombers would maintain the lead, holding a narrow three-point advantage at the long break.
But it wasn’t long after the third term started that the Students took the lead, and the Bombers would not get it back. The Bombers created chances during the third quarter, but were only able to convert one of them into a goal. At the other end, the Students began to assert themselves. Vastly more experienced than the very young North Shore side, the Students looked stronger and fitter as they took control of the contest. Four goals to one for the quarter had turned the deficit into an 11-point lead to Sydney Uni at three quarter time.
The margin may have only been a couple of kicks, but North Shore didn’t look likely to get back into the contest. The sky was getting darker, the wind was picking up; and the Students would be going home with it. The Bombers had no more run in them, the Students did; and that would be telling as the quarter unfolded. It was five goals to one in favour of Sydney Uni in the last quarter, stretching the final winning margin to 35 points.
Oliver Wetzlar, Aron Everett and David Johnson were standout contributors for Sydney Uni; while the Bombers received solid service all day from Dale Fitzgerald, Matthew Eddy and Alex Jalloh. Celebrations for the Students were on ice. Literally. As shortly after the final siren sounded, a wild hailstorm unleashed its fury on the ground.

The round continued on Sunday at Kanebridge Oval. UTS, after their round 2 bye, were in action for the first time in 16 days when they took on East Coast Eagles. The Bats went into the game as undefeated ladder leaders, but lost that status in emphatic fashion as they crashed to a 122-point defeat.
The goals were flowing thick and fast during the opening term. Despite kicking into the wind, the Eagles were untroubled in moving the ball forward and the Bats were unable to manage too much more than token resistance against an impressive Eagle lineup. Six goals to one was a reflection of the dominant nature of the contest through the opening term.
Strangely, the Eagles scored more goals into the wind in the first term than they did while kicking with it in the second. They could have scored many more, but an inaccurate return of 4.7 let them down, along with the Bats putting up some belated pressure. Not that it mattered too much, as the Bats were unable to penetrate the big sticks at the southern end during the second term; and as the teams returned to the rooms at half time, the Eagles were holding a 61-point advantage.
The light rain that had fallen during the pre-game and early in the contest had gone during the second half, but conditions were still slippery. But the Eagles kept their feet, continuing to run and present themselves as attacking targets. And the scoreboard would continue to blow out as the lopsided flow of possessions would reflect themselves in scoring opportunities. Six goals to one in the third term saw a 94-point lead at the last change.
And there would be no let-up in the final quarter. The sting had gone out of the game, the result by now way beyond doubt. But the Eagles kept going, kept shutting the Bats out and kept the pressure and the run happening; keeping the final quarter like the preceding three. It was a further five goals to one in the final term, a 122-point result; and a comprehensive performance by an Eagles side that looks set to be one of this season’s leading contenders.
Trent Stubbs and James Ford spearheaded the charge on the forward line to finish with five and four goals respectively; Stubbs and Ford, along with Jack Dimery being among the Eagles’ best on a day when many Eagles were worthy of being called dominant. On a tough afternoon for the Bats, Jordan Law, Tom Larby and Michael Puhle kept working hard against imposing odds.


Pennant Hills 5.3 6.4 8.7 15.10 (100)
Western Suburbs 1.2 1.4 4.5 6.6 (42)
Goals : Pennant Hills –
M Carey 4, D Preen 4, S Wray 2, P Witt, N Hey, T Angel, L Unwin, J Dunn. Wests – P Bevan 3, A Eurell, J Etto, J Zoppo.
Best : Pennant Hills – M Carey, D Dell’Aquila, L Urwin, M Talbot, J Dunn, T Angel. Wests – Y Milligan-Saville, J Robinson, P Bevan, R Speed, J Zoppo, C McEvoy-Grey.
At Picken Oval, Saturday 25th April 2015.

Manly 4.3 9.3 15.11 21.14 (140)
Uni NSW-Eastern Suburbs 0.2 1.5 4.5 4.7 (31)
Goals : Manly –
Not available. UNSW-ES – Not available.
Best : Manly – Not available. UNSW-ES – Not available.
At Village Green, Saturday 25th April 2015.

Sydney University 0.2 3.6 7.7 12.11 (83)
North Shore 2.1 4.3 5.8 6.12 (48)
Goals : Sydney Uni –
O Wetzlar 3, N Winmar 3, J Lewington, S Sleigh, A Everett, D Johnson, T Byrnes, Y Jaffer-Williams. North Shore – J Saunders 2, D Baron-Hay, J Gray, S Carruthers, J McKenzie.
Best : Sydney Uni – O Wetzlar, A Everett, D Johnson, B Hawtin, D Potts, N Winmar. North Shore – D Fitzgerald, M Eddy, A Jalloh, S Carruthers, J David-Wright, T Harvey.
At Sydney Uni No 1 Oval, Saturday 25th April 2015.

East Coast Eagles 6.2 10.9 16.13 21.17 (143)
University of Technology 1.1 1.2 2.3 3.3 (21)
Goals : East Coast –
T Stubbs 5, J Ford 4, Jamie Vlatko 2, S Pierce 2, A McConnell 2, S O’Connor, W Bradley, S Turner, J Dimery, A Drinkwater, Josh Cass. UTS – J Law, T Larby, T Nixon.
Best : East Coast – T Stubbs, J Dimery, J Ford, A Drinkwater, S Turner, K Emery. UTS – J Law, T Larby, M Puhle, D Ipaviz, J Hewitt, W Bland.
At Kanebridge Oval, Saturday 25th April 2015.




 Play
Won
Draw
Lost
For
Agnst
Pts
%age
Strk
Pennant Hills
3
3
0
0
273
179
100
152.51
W3
East Coast
3
2
0
1
372
165
66.67
225.45
W2
Manly
3
2
0
1
299
194
66.67
154.12
W1
Sydney Uni
2
1
0
1
178
159
50
111.95
W1
St George
2
1
0
1
187
200
50
93.50
W1
UTS
2
1
0
1
130
184
50
70.65
L1
North Shore
3
1
0
2
186
282
33.33
65.96
L2
UNSW-ES
3
1
0
2
202
312
33.33
64.74
L1
Western Suburbs
3
0
0
3
157
309
0
50.81
L3
Black - Confirmed finallists
Green - Currently in a finals position, but not yet guaranteed a place in the finals
Blue - Not currently in a finals position, but still a chance to qualify
Purple - Will not be competing in the finals
Red - Wooden spoon, probable relegation


Division One:
All matches postponed.

Division Two:
All matches postponed.

Division Three:
All matches postponed.

Division Four:
All matches postponed.

Division Five:
All matches postponed.

Under 19s One:
All matches postponed.

Under 19s Two:
All matches postponed.

Women Division One:
Newtown 9.9 (63) d UNSW-ES 2.2 (14)
Macquarie Uni 12.14 (86) d Southern Power 2.2 (14)
Western Wolves v Wollongong – postponed.
Ladder (Match Ratio) – Newtown (100, 354.05%), Sydney Uni (100, 370.83%), Macquarie Uni (50, 132.93%), Southern Power (50, 83.49%), Wollongong (0, 29.87%), UNSW-ES (0, 25.00%), Western Wolves (DNP).

Women Division Two:
All matches postponed.


NEXT WEEK’S MATCHES (Lurker’s Kiss of Death in bold)

Premier Division:

Saturday 2nd May
Olds Park – St George v UNSW-ES (2:10pm)
Waverley Oval – UTS v Sydney Uni (2:10pm)
Weldon Oval – Manly v North Shore (2:30pm)
Mike Kenny Oval – Pennant Hills v East Coast (6:30pm)
BYE – Western Suburbs.

Division One:
Saturday 2nd May
Olds Park – St George v UNSW-ES (12pm)
Waverley Oval – UTS v Sydney Uni (12pm)
Henson Park – Balmain v Southern Power (2:10pm)
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Macquarie Uni (2:30pm)
Mike Kenny Oval – Pennant Hills v East Coast (4:30pm)

Division Two:
Saturday 2nd May
Weldon Oval – Manly v North Shore (12:30pm)
Blacktown ISP No 2 – Blacktown v Moorebank (2pm)
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Western Suburbs (2:10pm)
Pioneers Park – Randwick City v Camden (2:10pm)

Division Three:
Saturday 2nd May
Waverley Oval – UTS v Sydney Uni (10am)
Adcock Park – Gosford v UNSW-ES (2:10pm)
Bensons Lane – NorWest v Western Suburbs (2:10pm)
Mike Kenny Oval – Pennant Hills v East Coast (2:30pm)
Sunday 3rd May
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Balmain (12pm)

Division Four:
Saturday 2nd May
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Southern Power (10am)
Weldon Oval – Manly v North Shore (10:30am)
Mahoney Park – Sydney Uni v Moorebank (12pm)
Pioneers Park – Randwick City v Camden (12pm)
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Macquarie Uni (12:30pm)
Bargo Sportsground – Wollondilly v Blacktown (2pm)

Division Five:
Saturday 2nd May
Trumper Park – UTS v Moorebank (10am)
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v NorWest (10:30am)
Greygums Oval – Penrith v UNSW-ES (12pm)
Harrington Park – Camden v Balmain (12pm)
Mike Kenny Oval (Lower) – Pennant Hills v Randwick City (6:30pm)
BYE – Sydney Uni.

Under 19s One:
Saturday 2nd May
Olds Park – St George v UNSW-ES (10am)
North Dalton Oval – South Coast v Sydney Uni (12pm)
Mike Kenny Oval (Lower) – Pennant Hills v East Coast (4:30pm)
Weldon Oval – Manly v North Shore (5:10pm)


Under 19s Two:
Saturday 2nd May
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Pennant Hills (8:30am)
Henson Park – Balmain v Southern Power (12pm)
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Western Suburbs (12pm)
Sunday 3rd May
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Moorebank (10am)

Women Division One:
Saturday 2nd May
Mahoney Park – Newtown v Southern Power (2pm)
University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Western Wolves (2pm)
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v Sydney Uni (2:10pm)
BYE – UNSW-ES

Women Division Two:
Saturday 2nd May
Weldon Oval – Manly v Moorebank (8:30am)
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Auburn (10am)
Mahoney Park – Newtown v UTS (10am)
Adcock Park – Gosford v UNSW-ES (12pm)
BYE – Blacktown.