K rock Football

Learnings for Falcons

Archie Hildebrandt in action for the Geelong Falcons. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

A YOUNG Geelong Falcons team will take plenty away from its 43-point opening round NAB League loss to Bendigo according to rookie coach Luke Daffy.

A six-goal opening term from the Pioneers proved the difference, and while Geelong challenged for the remainder of the match, the damage was already done with the Falcons going down 13.8 (86) to 6.7 (43) in Colac.

“They would have learnt a lot particularly early with the speed of the game,” Daffy said.

“[Bendigo] really beat us up around the contest; we couldn’t get our hands on the football, and they used their real strengths which were their speed and their run-and-carry.

“At quarter time we stopped and reset. There were definitely some positive signs after quarter time. I felt in the second quarter we started to get the game back on our terms.”

While the Pioneers continued their dominance early in the second term – kicking the first two majors – a free to Clay Page in front of goal saw the Falcon slot his team’s first major of the day.

Geelong booted the next three goals before the Pioneers capped off the half with a further two majors.

The Falcons were then able to dictate play for most of the third term and lock the ball in their forward half.

19-year-old Charlie Sprague hit the scoreboard early before Charlie Lazzaro quickly burst out of the following centre bounce to hit up Harry Stubbings for a second goal.

However, the Falcons also from poor efficiency down forward.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t quite capitalise with the score on the board, and they kicked a couple of goals late in that third term which made it a little challenging to get back in there,” Daffy said.

With both sides unable to break through for more than a few minor scores for much of the fourth quarter, the Pioneers finished strongly with two goals in the final minute of the game to stretch out their winning margin.

Daffy named Falcons co-captain Jesse Clark as his sides’ best.

“He played as an intercept defender. He was super competitive and got into some really good starting positions on his direct opponent that he worked off of offensively really well,” Daffy said.

Lazzaro’s second half also caught the coach’s eye.

“He gave us a little bit of a different look inside, which was good. It was a positive for him,” Daffy said.

The Falcons will travel to Ballarat to face the Greater Western Victoria Rebels next Sunday.

Twitter: @megsaultry

BENDIGO PIONEERS  6.1, 9.5, 11.5, 13.8 (86)

GEELONG FALCONS  0.1, 4.2, 6.4, 6.7 (43)

Goals: Bendigo Pioneers: C. Vick 2, M. Johnson 2, T. Dow 2, W. Shaw, J. Dick-O’Flaherty, R. Ironside, R. Wilson, J. Rodi, C. Fisher, E. Roberts

Geelong Falcons: H. Stubbings 2, C. Sprague, M. Annandale, C. Page, N. Gribble

Best: Bendigo Pioneers: R. Wilson, J. Schischka, W. Wallace, T. Dow, J. Rodi, B. Kemp

Geelong Falcons: J. Clark, C. Lazzaro, J. Dahlhaus, S. Christensen, S. Bourke