Round 2: Swans in a flap

Second game, second win for the Nomads. This time by a 107-point margin over the Tamworth Swans. The Swans came to Armidale short on numbers and with some inexperienced players in the side, so it was always going to be tough for them on a warm, sunny afternoon at Bellevue. As revenge for last year’s Grand Final defeat this victory was too easy to satisfy.

Still short of some players themselves, things are looking promising for the Nomads although they are still to be tested by a strong side in an 18-a-side game.

The two matches they have played have provided some of their inexperienced players a decent introduction and allowed them to build some confidence. Jay Dunlop, brothers Aaron and Caleb Dobos had good games in the forward half, while Matt West is forming a formidable barrier at centre half-back. Aaron Dobos picked up the afternoon’s Endeavour Award.

New Nomads with previous footy experience had a massive impact on the game again this week. Mark Handley kicked another 13 goals and Anthony Alderuccio kicked 2 goals and contributed all afternoon in the centre. Handley and Alderuccio also picked up the Coach’s and Players’ Player awards, respectively. The other debutant for the Nomads, Clint Ballagh also had a productive afternoon around the ground.

The Nomads running game worked well in patches and the delivery into the forward line was an improvement on last week. With a few more games together the cohesion will improve.

There are things for the Nomads to work on, noticably work rate without the ball; the Swans had loose men on too many occasions and took many easy posessions despite being dependent on a handful of players for their creativity.

The Nomads goalkickers were Mark Handley (13), Anthony Alderuccio (2), Adrian Walsh (2), Sol Hanks, Mitch Penberthy, Matt Dennis and Caleb Dobos.

In the absence of the current President, the former-President’s Award went to Anthony Reid who dominated the ruck all afternoon, but was picked out in particular for his brilliant 20-metre dash and tackle.

Sol Hanks is flourishing having moved out of the forward pocket this season and made some great leads to the flanks and provided fine service to the forwards. Sol received the Captain’s Award.

So while there will be harder tests to come, the Nomads are looking in good shape for this stage of the season. It is a shame to see some of the other TAFL clubs doing it tough, and particularly worrying that the reigning premiers are struggling for numbers.

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