Nomads put on defensive lockdown

By Ben Lonergan (Armidale Express, 24/06/2015)
Playing six Aussie Rules debutantes against side you took on in last season’s grand final would spell disaster for most teams, but not the New England Nomads.< !—-more—->

Facing a player crisis early in the week due to university holidays, the Nomads hit the streets in search of players just to field a team against the Inverell Hawks at Bellevue Oval on Saturday.

They secured six signatures of players who had never even stepped on an Aussie Rules field and still managed to beat the Saints 104-25.

“That was a good result considering,” Nomads player-coach Zac Economou said.

“Six players made their debut for the club and we still managed to come away with the win.”

Standouts amongst the debutantes included Declan Humphries, David Willis and Pat Hunt.

Twelve players were missing from the side that toppled the Tamworth Kangaroos a week earlier.

The return of former captain Weston Whitby boosted player moral according to Economou.

“That was really good for us to have him back,” he said.

“He is looking fitter than ever.”

The Nomads jumped out to a 22-3 lead after just one quarter and stretched that to 59-19 by the main break courtesy of nine goals and five behinds.

Kicking accuracy may have dropped off for the Nomads in the final two quarters but their defence certainly didn’t.

They conceded just one goal in the final two quarters to restrict the Saints to only three for the match.

“That was definitely the most pleasing thing to come out of the game,” Economou said.

“Keeping a good side like Inverell to three goals was a great effort.”

Dave Richards was at his devastating best for the Nomads, booting five goals and creating many other chances for his teammates.

“I’m glad I don’t have to mark him,” Economou said.

Ruckman Omphile Temoso was also in terrific form.

“That’s one of the best games I’ve seen him play,” Economou said.

Riley Connor and Wulu Hall also drew praise for their efforts.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Round 9 2015

Nomads def. Saints
 GBP GBP
Q13422 033
HT9559 2719
Q3111177 2719
FT1514104 3725

Team:

  • R. Connor,
  • H. Cook,
  • A. Cruickshank,
  • Z. Economou,
  • J. Ellis-Cluff,
  • J. Freund,
  • A. Garraud,
  • T. Granleese,
  • W. Hall,
  • D. Humphreys,
  • P. Hunt,
  • T. Hunt,
  • D. Kearney,
  • P. O'Connell,
  • D. Richards,
  • N. Sanders,
  • J. Shirley,
  • O. Temoso,
  • J. Tilto,
  • P. Tobias,
  • W. Whitby,
  • D. Willis.

Goalscorers:

  • D. Richards (5),
  • J. Freund (3),
  • W. Whitby (2),
  • Z. Economou (2),
  • H. Cook,
  • J. Ellis-Cluff,
  • W. Hall.

Award winners:

  • R. Connor (Players' Player),
  • O. Temoso (Coach's),
  • W. Hall (President's),
  • T. Hunt (Captain's),
  • P. Tobias (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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