The GIANTS dwarf Sandringham's winning chances late
Sandringham started the day with excellence from powerful forwards, however GWS GIANTS were able to score a few late goals to seal the game.
Photography: Anthony Vella
With a very even contest for most of the game, we were unable to capitalise defensively in the fourth term. Jordy Segar was the leading goal kicker for the Zebras, kicking three, whilst Tyrell Lafituanai kicked two goals. Throughout the game, the Zebras' backline continued to defend strongly -Tyson Milne finished with 32 disposals and six marks, and Anthony Seaton finished with five tackles and 22 disposals.
The St Kilda listed players also shone across the board on Sunday afternoon, with Marcus Windhager collecting 25 disposals, five tackles and four marks, and our major ball winners for the day, Jack Bytel finishing with 32 disposals and Leo Connolly with 30 disposals and five marks.
Sandringham started the day on a positive note with Tom Campbell winning the first hit out of the game. Noah Gown got a free kick early and went wide, whilst Jake Lohmann showed signs early of his forward pressure, running in towards goals for a minor score. It was shortly after that he capitalised defensively in the goal square and converted the first goal of the game for Sandringham. Lafituanai took his chances, kicking towards goal with precision but the GIANTS had numbers in the goal square.
Although the ball for the most part of the first quarter stayed in Sandringham’s forward half of the ground, the GIANTS found their chances to go forward early but fortunately couldn’t convert as a result of the Zebras' defence applying pressure at each contest. Notably, Milne applied great pressure and forced a turnover in the back half of the ground, whilst Max Heath took a huge mark on the defensive goal line.
Sandringham used the corridor in the aim to move the ball quickly towards goals - Leo Connolly was entitled to have a shot on goal but decided to go for the unselfish pass. Not long after, Gown kicked his first goal. The play of both sides started to even out, with GWS still searching for their first of the day. Heath leaped for a huge intercept mark and kicked through the corridor to Isaac Keeler, who moved the ball up the ground. The passage of play resulted in Segar just getting boot to ball and, in a soccer like kick from ground level, made it his first goal of the day. Lafituanai also kicked a goal outside of the stoppage from a free kick that was awarded to Sandringham. Towards the end of the quarter, the GIANTS eventually got their first goal of the afternoon.
The second quarter was quieter for Sandringham - the GIANTS came out with more pressure and eventually the defensive attributes of their game plan saw them score the first goal of the second quarter. Jack Billings had a quiet first quarter but started to work his way into the game. GWS controlled most of the play in the early stages of the quarter and were able to creep through for a minor score, closing the margin to 5 points. The GIANTS looked more composed when the ball entered their forward line and kicking another goal led to them taking the lead for the first time in the game. The wind began to pick up and became an advantage for the GIANTS, kicking their goals with the breeze.
Segar had a bit of space at the top of the 50 and went back in attempt to kick his second of the day and succeeded, making it our first goal of the second quarter at the 21-minute mark. Our defenders continued to work hard and the Zebras got the lead back. However, minutes after GWS got to work and moved the ball back into their half of the ground and took advantage of the wind, kicking another goal. It was a tough contest for most of the quarter and GWS had a two-point lead heading into half time.
As the crowds started to build around the stadium for the St Kilda v Giants clash later in the day, so did the Zebras' momentum. In a strong start to the quarter, Bytel won the clearance from the centre and shortly after Heath took a strong contested mark and went back to kick his first goal of the day. The GIANTS took their chances in their half of the ground, but the Zebras' defence remained strong, with Cordy taking a great defensive mark. Segar kicked his third, passing through the GIANTS defence and kicking the ball along the ground on a tight angle.
There were moments of missed opportunities for GWS, but they were getting to the ball first on several occasions. Sandringham’s defence kept presenting at each contest, with Tom Highmore applying great defensive pressure. However, the GIANTS got a goal against the breeze late in the quarter taking the lead by 10 points, almost the biggest lead of the game.
With a very even contest so far, Sandringham struggled to capitalise on their opportunities early in the quarter, however they were able to slow down the GIANTS' play leading to multiple stoppages. Highmore presented great defensive work forcing GWS to kick a behind at the 15-minute mark. The Zebras fought back, and Lafituanai kicked his second for the day, leaving the door open for Sandringham to take the win.
Anthony Seaton kept the ball slightly closer to Sandringham’s goals with a strong tackle out to the boundary. The Zebras' defence worked hard to stop GWS from sealing the game - Cordy took space and kicked the ball long to the centre which Lohmann received, taking a huge mark. Ollie Lowe got his first late, reducing the margin to 27 points. Unfortunately GWS took advantage of our skill errors and were rewarded with goals, taking the win on Sunday afternoon.
Final Score: Sandringham Zebras 9.6 (60) defeated by GWS Giants 12.15 (87)
Goals: J. Segar (3), T. Lafituanai (2), O. Lowe, J. Lohmann, M Heath, N. Gown