North Wagga have set the scene for a mouth-watering top-of-the-table encounter with Marrar next week after thumping The Rock-Yerong Creek by 160 points at McPherson Oval on Saturday.
Star forward Daniel Jordan backed up a big game at Temora last week with an absolutely dominant performance, kicking 13 goals as the Saints stormed to victory, finishing with the almost-unbelievable scoreline of 30.17 (197) to 6.1 (37).
It was a humbling day for the Magpies who, despite a horrendous injury toll this season, were never expected to capitulate in this fashion, finishing with 40 less scoring shots than their opposition and conceding 11 goals in the last quarter.
North Wagga didn’t give them an inch all day. Coach Kirk Hamblin said it wasn’t the thought of the unbeaten Bombers next week, but the desire to honour teammate Corey Watt that drove their determination.
“It didn't have much to do with Marrar. It was Corey Watt’s 100th game so we put a big emphasis on that,” Hamblin said.
“We’ve only got two blokes in our first grade side at North Wagga who have played 100 senior games for the club so at half-time and three-quarter-time it was about Watty and showing him the respect he deserved by not taking the foot off.”
The Saints kicked six goals to one in the first quarter, with Jordan finding four. There was certainly no let up, as they dominated all aspects of the game, adding eight goals in the second. In the third, they kicked 5.10, which kept the margin at just under triple figures at three-quarter-time.
But the fourth quarter was a rout, outscoring the Magpies 69 to 6.
“I was stoked with our effort. We stuck to our game plan. We played team football and the boys are starting to see the rewards of playing for each other,” Hamblin said.
“I definitely didn’t expect it to blow out (like it did). I thought we were going to stretch them in our forward line if the conditions suited, and that was the case.”
After Jordan’s impressive game against the Kangaroos last week, Hamblin hinted that the competition had yet to see the best of him. To back it up and kick 13 this week suggests we might be about to.
“Yeah, internally at North Wagga, he’s rated very highly and the Farrer League is probably starting to see what he’s capable of,” Hamblin said. “He’s shown glimpses of it but if his body holds up, he can be really good for us.
“I thought we delivered the ball in to him pretty well and he capitalised. He didn’t kick too many points.”
Ruckman Josh Hanlon and midfielders Jake May and Lachlan Steward were also superb for North Wagga. Luke Walsh and James Morris both finished off the ground as a precaution due to hamstring tightness.
Both are expected to be right for next week’s blockbuster against the Bombers while Jarrod Conway and Jack Flood will also be in the mix for selection after overcoming ankle injuries.
“We had six new players in our first grade team in round and it has taken us a while to gel,” Hamblin said.
“I can still see room for improvement in our game but all in all we’re getting better each and every week.”
Brad Aiken kicked four of TRYC’s six goals while Tom Yates, Lachie Myers and Todd Hannam worked hard on a brutal day out for the club.