Nomads to pick up the pieces ahead of finals

By Matt Nicholls (Armidale Express, 21/07/2010)
New England Nomads coach Brendan Meehan must be cursing his luck.

In his side’s past two matches, everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong.

Injuries to key players, unavailability of others, plus news their star ruckman is heading back to Africa has left the Armidale-based Australian Rules side shell-shocked.

It is little wonder the Nomads have been soundly beaten in their last two outings.

On Saturday they were blown away by the Tamworth Kangaroos at Bellevue Oval.

But the scoreboard didn’t tell the full story.

According to Meehan, his side took the game up to the second-placed Roos for the best part of three quarters.

“We went into the game a man short and copped a few injuries early on to make it even harder,” he said.

“Despite all that, I was pleased with our performance.

“I thought we kept fighting until about halfway through the third quarter.

“They got a couple of late goals before the final break and then ran away with the game in the last term.”

With three games to go before the Tamworth AFL finals, there is still time for New England to regroup.

Meehan said he still believed his side was capable of making the grand final.

“We’re still third on the ladder and time is on our side.

“It hasn’t been a good couple of weeks but I’m confident we can turn things around.”

The Nomads will have to make their run without Botswanan ruckman Omphile Temoso, who played his last game for the side on Saturday.

“I think he’s visa is about to expire so he is heading home,” Meehan said.

“He will leave a big hole in our side, no doubt.

“Since he arrived at the club last year he has improved each week and on Saturday he was one of our best.”

Meehan said on his day, Temoso was one of the best big men in the TAFL.

“When he’s on song, he is everywhere – down low, up high, taking marks – he’s a very capable player,” the coach said.

“The good thing about him is he doesn’t get beaten often.”

Anthony Reid will fill Temoso’s shoes in the ruck this Saturday against the Tamworth Swans in Tamworth, but a long-term option has yet to be decided, Meehan said.

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