Traralgon best not enough to halt Vernon’s troops
TRARALGON lost to Leongatha by over 100 points in the opening match of the season.
Possibly it was taken by surprise by a Parrot team totally rejuvenated by the return of several key and talented players and by its clever new and ambitious coach Beau Vernon who enjoys overwhelming support.
Vernon who is keen to prove that while he might be wheel chair bound, he has what it takes and more.
Despite the size of that first round loss Traralgon sits third on the ladder.
It was unlikely Traralgon would allow itself to be caught on the hop again and while the opening signs did not bode well, it wasn’t.
Leongatha dominated the opening and for the first half of the first quarter 80 percent of the play was in Leongatha’s forward 50, in total control.
Realising what it was up against, Traralgon upped the tempo and adopted Plan B.
It flooded its defensive zone and made it as hard as possible for Leongatha’s forwards with aggressive attack on the ball.
The game became more defensive as Traralgon tried to negate the Parrots natural skills.
Leongatha is not a one plan team, however; this is no one dimensional team that has been hatched by Vernon.
This time round Traralgon was a different side to the one it fielded in April.
All of its young Power players were available for selection and gave the pool of talent on the field a significant boost.
But all those Leongatha household names such as Best (leading league goal kicking), Willis (manful in the ruck each and every week), Hawking, Hoghton, Heppell, Clingan and Hillberg (and one could go on and name the whole team, each and every one of those boys who make it up) are not easy to counteract.
The Parrots have a potent forward line and a defence that is very proud of how little it concedes.
Traralgon played a very good game that would curb its opponent running but made it less than a spectacle to watch.
Leongatha has a big game away against a traditional rival, Wonthaggi, next week.
The next block of four games are crucial to maintaining the Parrots’ lofty place at the top of the rise as it is pursued by teams immediately below it on the ladder.
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