The Southern Saints keep marching on in the 2017 AFLNZ Premiership as they recorded another big win over the weekend when they defeated the Central Giants in round 4.
During the early game, the Western Crows put up a big fight against the Northern Suns but were unable to get over the line in a tough tussle at QBE Stadium.
Western Crows vs Northern Suns:
The Northern Suns had to dig deep against a hungry Western Crows side over the weekend as they produced a solid fourth quarter to win by 31 points.
Only up by two goals at three quarter time, the Suns went up a gear to kick four goals to one in the last quarter to show that they are the real deal in 2017.
Suns Captain James Kusel had a superb game in the backline and linked nicely with Josh Mackie from Otago who was playing in the middle of the ground. Mackie was awarded the Suns best on ground and the 2016 Rising star recipient is fulfilling his AFL potential playing in the midfield.
Jay Johnson was phenomenal for the Crows. Accurate skills, effective disposals and solid defensive running made him an easy best on ground recipient. Australian import Khyal Jacobson was also among the best for the Crows. The Beleura JFC midfielder made his debut in the Premiership ending the game with two goals and plenty of touches.
Western Crows Head Coach Chris Mundell was positive about what he saw against the Suns. “A much improved performance from the boys this week. We are getting better and better as the season continues and if we can stay injury free, we will become a more consistent side”
The Suns are second on the ladder and Head Coach Dave Abetz was happy with his sides performance. “The Suns players stood up this week and played fantastically well. We also finished strong in this game which was important because it’s something we have talked about during the season. It’s also good to see the Crows playing the level of footy they were producing last year.”
The Crows take on the Giants next weekend in a must win clash for both sides.
Northern Suns: Tim Stokes 3, Jordan Drinkall 2, James Kusel 2, Will Dickinson 1, Jackson Clince 1, Joel Brown 1, Brad Mavor 1, Mitch Ryan 1.
Western Crows: Steph Tabaillou 2, Sam Traynor 2, Khyal Jacobson 2, Joey Alesich-Tamariki 1, Nick Bailey 1.
Player of the match awards:
Northern Suns: Josh Mackie
Western Crows: Jay Johnson
Southern Saints vs Central Giants:
The Southern Saints still remain unbeaten in this seasons Premiership as they once again dominated the midfield to score a 79 point win over the Central Giants.
Cantabrian Kyle Smith was outstanding in the midfield and was awarded the Saints Best on Ground. His accurate skills made for easy transition into the forward line while on defence, he was throwing his body into every tackle.
“Kyle Smith was fantastic for us today. He was working hard all game, accurate and plenty of communication out on the field.” Craig Goodhue, Southern Saints Assistant Coach.
For the Giants, James Bowden put in a solid effort in the backline and was busy all day while Dawson Nanai showed his potential in the midfield producing a best on ground performance.
The talking point so far this season is the Saints defence. In four games, they have only conceded 109 points averaging 27.25 points per game and against the Giants, they managed to stop them scoring for two out of the four quarters. The backline is lead by Captain Michael Boyce and features the experience of Andriu and Brandon Sucu who are regarded as the best defensive players in the country.
The Saints will come up against the Northern Suns next weekend in a top of the table clash. In their previous meeting, the Saints took the honours by 18 points but the Suns are on fire and this game is all set up to be a classic.
Southern Saints: Sam McKenzie 2, Carlos Donnell-Brown 2, Charles Barnes 2, Kyle Smith 2, Seb Serrano 1, Hayden Johnston 1, Nico Donnell-Brown 1, Josh Morgan-Ranui 1, Jordan Thompson 1.
Central Giants: Stephen Parton 2, Max Hicks 1.
Player of the match awards:
Southern Saints: Kyle Smith
Central Giants: Dawson Nanai
All Round 5 games will be played on the brand new Hybrid Turf at the back of QBE Stadium this Sunday the 12th of March with the top of the table clash between Southern Saints vs Northern Suns at 11.30am followed by the Western Crows and Central Giants at 1.45pm.