Strong second half sees Narre Warren make amends over Wandin

Steven Kidd declared Hayden Dwyer's performance in the ruck on Saturday as the best game that he's played for the club. 403702 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Marcus Uhe

Narre Warren’s win over Wandin in the Outer East Football Netball Premier Division grand final rematch on Saturday has vanquished some demons from last season and sent a stern warning to the rest of the competition.

12 goals to seven in the second half propelled the Magpies to a 38-point win, 16.15 111 to 11.7 73, as they found an answer for everything the Bulldogs threw at them.

Wandin was prevented from kicking consecutive goals at any stage during the second half while the Magpies found a variety of ways to hit the scoreboard.

Most commonly it was forward half turnovers and stoppages that led to rewards on the scoreboard, executing the game plan that Narre Warren coach Steven Kidd asked of his chargers.

“We wanted to apply as much pressure we could when they had the footy we feel like they probably want to play a similar style of game as us,” Kidd said.

“We knew we had to try and get some dominance around the stoppage and then on flip side, when they got it, we needed to pressure them.

“There were times where it felt like we were going to get away from them but they kept coming back.

“We kept reminding the players to stick to what we know and the game will eventually turn in our favour.

”To the guys’ credit, they did that.”

Peter Gentile and Tom Toner assumed extra responsibility in the midfield after the Magpies lost Brad Scalzo in the first half to a foot injury, while Sam Toner’s star continues to rise in his first trio of games at senior level.

Toner provided an assist for Hayden Dwyer early in the third term and then kicked a pair himself, including making something from nothing with a brilliant front on spoil on an opponent deep in the Magpies’ forward line.

“We just talk to him about his pressure,” Kidd said of his young prodigy.

“We know the other side of his game as far as marking ground balls and how clean he is, but if he’s doing the other stuff like pressuring for us, he mans the mark really well and puts pressure coming out, he seems to be able to create scores for us.

“That’s probably the main thing that we speak to him about week after week and I think, if he does those things, everything else seems to follow form there.”

Kidd stopped short of declaring his side the team to beat in Premier Division, but was delighted to get the four points over the side that broke his side’s heart last season.

He said he barely made mention of last year’s grand final during the week, fully aware that the players needed no reminding, but mindful of the turnover in the senior 22 from last September.

“I was more focused on, we had nine players that didn’t play in that grand final last year.

“I think the players probably came out with a fair bit of determination because of it, but we didn’t really speak about it all leading into the game.

“I suppose Woori Yallock’s showing a lot and I think Wandin are building into their season and sometimes that happens with premiership sides, they can take a little bit of time to get going.

“I still expect Wandin to be the team to beat, but they’ll only improve as the year goes on.”

Hayden Dwyer and Tom Russell played what Kidd believed was their best games for the club, with Kurt Mutimer, Hayden Johnson and Corey Bader among other standouts.

Wandin looked like threatening at times during the second half and managed to string chains of ‘Wandin football’ of that went so far to winning last season’s flag, showing their skills and dare through the corridor, but failed to shut off the Narre Warren scoring tap.

Aaron Mullett kicked four goals with Chayce Black, Jack Manson and Leiwyn Jones among their best.

Berwick Springs was on the receiving end of a hiding from Woori Yallock, thrashed by 119 points as the reality of life in Premier Diviison begins to take hold.

A 64-6 quarter set the tone for a long afternoon and the pain continued into the final term in the 22.24 156 to 6.1 37 result.

James Misso kicked two goals on senior debut for the Titans while the Tigers had six multiple goal kickers, including Taylor Gibson, who bagged six.

An efficient Mt Evelyn downed Monbulk by 12 points as the Hawks missed a number of chances to kick clear, while Upwey Tecoma recovered from a slow start to get the better of Olinda Ferny Creek by 37 points on Anzac Day.