Nomads Breathtaking

Attacking AFL for Dummies spoof
Dave MacLellan
I delayed writing this report for a few days so the hype surrounding Weston Whitby’s performance could settle somewhat. The Nomads had a record-breaking day out where they consistently played scintillating football, running the legs off the opposition.

The day was extremely hot and the muddy centre of the Tamworth oval was energy sapping. The Cats began the game with sixteen players (no reserves) and in the second half had one player leave the field injured. The New England side was the strongest of the year with twenty-two fit players and a good array of support staff. To the Cats credit though, even when the game was lost, they remained focused on the ball throughout the day and not the man.

The Nomads game plan was simple, run hard in numbers, support your teammates, use the space and keep the skills accurate. It shows the hard running of the team that apart from Whitby’s 19 goals, the remainder were shared between on-ballers with Malone, Trotman and Walsh booting three each and singles to others. The Cats came back from halt time refreshed and found some forward drive, but fatigue was a huge factor and the Nomads ran out the quarter again scoring freely. The fourth quarter was an eleven goal demolition as the Cats struggled to string possessions together, as the Nomads defensive zone covered most of the field. The only man able to take the ball forward for the Cats was the field umpire, as he returned it to the centre after each goal.

On the records front, it was the Cats third lowest score of 2008 (5-4-34), the Nomads highest score since 2004 (31-18-204) and the TAFL highest margin of the year (170 points). The Nomads final quarter of eleven goals must also rank among the best. The 19 goals by Weston Whitby also broke the TAFL goal kicking record, previously held by two Nomads; Mark Handley in 2007 and Stephen Fisher in 1999, who both kicked 17.

With the upset win by the Tamworth Swans over the Gunnedah Bulldogs, the Nomads are now all but guaranteed a home semi final against the Bulldogs in a fortnight’s time. This week the Nomads travel to Gunnedah in the final round of the home and away competition looking to demoralise the Bulldogs before the finals begin. The Nomads will also rest some key personnel for the game so as to be at full strength in the finals. This week has been good for the Nomads, strong team training runs while being hit with hail/sleet/sago should bond the team considerably. Do not doubt this, the Nomads will only improve and can win the 2008 Premiership.

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