K rock Football

Confidence boost for Falcons

Noah Gribble looks to get his kick away in Geelong Falcons’ 31-point win over Dandenong Stingrays in Bendigo. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

GEELONG Falcons will take plenty of confidence into next week’s NAB League wildcard round after continuing their strong recent form with a 31-point win over Dandenong Stingrays on Sunday.

Charlie Sprague, Tanner Bruhn, Henry Walsh and Charlie Lazzaro starred as the Falcons registered their second successive victory, prevailing 15.9 (99) to 9.14 (58) at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval.

“It was a good win today,” Falcons coach Luke Daffy said.

“We came with the mindset to be super competitive as a group, and we were, so that was really positive.

“We brought a lot of intensity and energy around the contest, particularly early.

“We missed some chances in the first quarter, but we were just really happy with the way the group connected.

“It was the most efficient performance we’ve had, particularly in our front half. We moved the ball really quickly.

“Around contests, we were clean. Our mids got first use and got the ball going forward.”

Sprague spearheaded the Falcons’ highest score of the season with six goals, taking his tally to 18 from his last five matches.

“Charlie went back to play senior footy (with Barwon Heads) for the middle portion of the year during the Futures rounds, and he’s come back a different player,” Daffy said.

“Today was the best game he’s played for the club, and it came off the back of a really high work rate.

“He deserved everything that came his way today.”

Highly-rated 2020 draft prospect Bruhn kicked two goals from 17 disposals and had five tackles in his first NAB League appearance of the season after overcoming a knee injury.

“Tanner was fantastic,” Daffy said.

“He played mid-forward and got his hands on it around the ball and managed to kick a couple of goals too.

“For his first game back this year, he was excellent.”

Geelong finished the home-and-away season with three wins and a draw from 15 matches and will take on Sandringham Dragons in the Wildcard Round.

“It will be a good challenge, but we’re trying to build on the momentum from the last couple of weeks with wins against Tassie and again today,” Daffy said.

“You never know … if you believe in what you’re doing, then fingers crossed it will all keep going.”

Twitter: @shayne_hope

GEELONG FALCONS  3.5, 8.7, 14.8, 15.9 (99)

DANDENONG STINGRAYS  2.3, 3.9, 5.12, 9.14 (68)

Goals; Geelong Falcons:  C. Sprague 6, O. Henry 2, T. Bruhn 2, C. Lazzaro, K. Skene, C. Karpala, H. Walsh, S. Fonseca-Hateley

Dandenong Stingrays: L. Williams 3, J. Toner, N. Heath, J. Andrews, W. Howe, W. Lewis, W. Bravo

Best; Geelong Falcons: C. Sprague, T. Bruhn, H. Walsh, C. Lazzaro, J. Dahlhaus, K. Rayner

Dandenong Stingrays: W. Bravo, W. Lewis, L. Goonan, L. Scott, J. Toner, B. Kuipers