K rock Football

We need to be better – Daffy

Chas Karpala gets his handball away in the Geelong Falcons’ loss to Bendigo Pioneers at MARS Stadium. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

GEELONG Falcons coach Luke Daffy demanded his players improve their day-to-day standards after a crushing 29-point NAB League defeat to Bendigo Pioneers on Saturday.

The Falcons were blown away in the second quarter and trailed by 58 points early in the third term.

Goals to Harry Stubbings and Jack Mullen, who finished with two each, helped add some respectability to the scoreboard late in the match as the Falcons kept their opponents scoreless in the last quarter.

But they couldn’t prevent the Falcons from slumping to a 13.5 (83) to 7.12 (54) defeat at Ballarat’s MARS Stadium.

“That was probably our most frustrating and disappointing loss of the year,” Daffy said.

“We were pretty firm with our playing group and pretty honest at the end.

“There are some players who are continuing to get opportunities and unfortunately, aren’t taking the opportunities that are presented for them.”

The Falcons entered the contest just two competition points behind Bendigo and had fancied their chances of doubling their win tally for the season.

“We went in knowing both sides were in a similar position and pretty confident,” Daffy said.

“We had a pretty simple message to come and compete and contribute, and there were just too many guys who didn’t contribute and work towards what we were trying to do.”

Bendigo dominated the middle stages of the match, kicking 10 goals to one through a period that began late in the first quarter and stretched through to the third term.

“We didn’t use the ball well in the front half and give our forwards a chance at times,” Daffy said.

“But on the flip side to that, there’s just not enough pressure in our front half and the ball just seems to come out very quickly.”

Daffy was impressed by the work of Vic Country ruckman Henry Walsh, who gave the Falcons first use all day, as well as prolific midfielder Keidan Rayner.

But there were too few Falcons players willing to take the fight up to Bendigo.

“We challenged our players and asked them the question, are they doing enough during the week and are they getting the most out of themselves,” Daffy said.

“It is a development program, but it’s an opportunity for us to help players become better players wherever they end up at the end of the year – whether that’s AFL, VFL or locally.

“At the moment we’ve got a few question marks, so we challenged the group after the game, and we’ll see how they respond from that.”

The Falcons take on NAB League premiership contenders Gippsland Power at Shepley Oval next Saturday.

Twitter: @shayne_hope

BENDIGO PIONEERS  4.2, 10.5, 13.5, 13.5 (83)

GEELONG FALCONS  2.2, 3.4, 5.9, 7.12 (54)

Goals; Bendigo Pioneers: J. Treacy 4, Z. Murley 2, R. Clarke, S. Mitchell, F. Ellis Castle, A. Cole, J. Dick-O”Flaherty, R. Ironside, R. Wilson

Geelong Falcons: H. Stubbings 2, J. Mullen 2, C. Karpala, M. Annandale, C. Brauer

Best; Bendigo Pioneers: W. Wallace, B. Worme, J. Treacy, J. Schischka, R. Wilson, N. Walsh

Geelong Falcons: H. Walsh, K. Rayner, C. Page, J. Mullen, L. Smith, H. Stubbings