Centrals, led by the rucking prowess of ruckman Nick Dejong, easily accounted for a very disappointing Roopena outfit at Bennett Oval. Such was the Roosters dominance they restricted the Roos to just two behinds after quarter time.
Conditions were terrible for football. A gale-force blustery wind favoured the Westland end, umpires Ferret Clayton and Paul Trussel were in charge. Central were without the services of Chris Webster, Daniel Sims, Greg Vlachoulis, Lauchy Tansell, Brendon Shwenke, Adrian Huish and Cliffy Pickhaver-Tupe. Roopena were missing Justin Grund, Shannon Peel, Clay Crompton, Jordy Ewings and Samuel Brereton.
The Roos had first use of the wind. Roos’ skipper Kane Grund was threatening up forward and was rewarded at the six minute mark kicking the Roos’ first goal after good work from Ben Auld. The Roosters however were winning around the packs, the good ruck work of Nick Dejong was instrumental in giving his ball players first opportunity at the football. The first quarter was a good contest, Roopena continued to attack and when Kane Grund snapped his second goal the Roosters went further on the defensive which resulted in Centrals’ greatest ever goal kicker Scott Collison being shifted to defence still standing his immediate opponent Roos fullback Daniel Haak who followed him down. Then in a complete role reversal at the 19 minute mark the Roos fullback slotted a goal to bring up his side’s third goal. Nick Sims found space to run into an open goal after good work from Dejong to reduce the lead to 15 point at quarter time.
The early signs were positive for the Roosters in the second term a goal to Marco Tansell after solid work from Cameron Edey and then minutes later Cameron Edey goaled to reduce the deficit to three points. The Roosters continued to attack but errant kicking for goal plagued them. Sam Ellis, who was enjoying a good game, ran into an open goal at the 13 minute mark to put his team in front. The game became a stalemate. Roopena defended strongly mainly due to the efforts of Kane Grund, Sean Seeley, Bradyn Taylor and Simon Tetlow however late in the quarter the persistent Roosters were rewarded with two late goals one to Joey Webster and one to Sam Ellis, who was hurting the Roos, kicked his second goal for the game to give the roosters a 17 point lead at halftime.
The third quarter is where the Roosters put the game beyond dispute. Their defence was simply outstanding, playing to coaches instructions they played the dead pocket to perfection soaking up valuable time and always looked dangerous on the break. Marco Tansell, Scott Collison, Michael Wallace good in defence, and the midfields’ defensive work, was in getting back was invaluable. Roopena continued to cough up the ball, such was the Roosters’ dominance. They were restricted to just one solitary point for the quarter. Then late in the quarter the mercurial Austen Miller found Nick Sims to goal against the wind to extend the lead to 24 points at three quarter time.
The last quarter was just a formality, the Roosters had dominated the game since quarter time and it was now their turn to use the wind which by now had increased in velocity to the extent it had blown the goal post covers from their post. The Roosters went on to kick a further five goals, three to Scott Collison to take his tally to four. Central do appear to be a far more threatening side with Collison at the goal front. A goal to Cameron Edey who had been handy all game and near siren time youngster and first gamer Isaac Chinery slotted his first goal in senior footy to cap of a good day at the office for the Roosters running out easy victors by 56 points
Central coach Golly Marshall was well satisfied with his team’s effort, he singled out his defence for a job well done in restricting the Roos to just three goals for the game and mentioned Micheal Wallace’s game in playing to coaches instructions. Also very pleased with the game of Chris Webster, Sam Ellis, Nick Sims and like myself he sang the praises of ruckman Dejong who in terrible conditions for a big man was the jack of all trades and he mastered them all and must be one of the favourites for the Whyalla News Medal.
Roopena coach Simon Chase cut a lonely figure in the changerooms after the game, he refused to blame the conditions for his team’s second worse loss for the year. Other than Grund, Seeley, Tetlow and Taylor, the effort from many was just not there in an important game. The Roos must respond next week against the Demons, a win will secure them a place in the finals, club veteran and premiership player Shannon Tomney will celebrate his 300th game and the Roopena Football Club will be celebrating their 1997 20th anniversary of their awesome foursome premierships.