Whittlesea coach Pete Bugden remains rightfully upbeat about Saturday’s loss to ladder-leader Montmorency despite going down by 63 points.
“When you hear coaches say it takes 18 months to two years to adopt a new game plan, well I think we blew that out of the water yesterday,” he said.
While this might seem silly to say after going down by 10 goals, the Eagles should’ve been a lot closer to the mark.
The Eagles kicked only one goal from ten scoring shots in the first quarter to hold a two-point lead despite having seven more scoring shots than their opposition.
This was without injured full-forward Andrew Fairchild, and star centre-half-back Chris Horman, who was a last minute withdrawal following a longer than expected recovery from a tooth abscess.
The Eagles scoring opportunities came from Brenton Briffa, the silky midfielder pushed forward in the absence of Fairchild and kicked three majors.
Janan Daniel and Nathan Andrews, who both chimed in with one and two goals respectively, were also dangerous up forward.
But it was the inaccuracy of the Eagles that blighted their overall performance.
Daniel kicked four behinds to go with his one goal and the normally reliable Lucas Hobbs was not at his finishing best.
Bugden maintained an optimistic approach to the Eagles inaccuracy,
“Twenty-nine scoring shots against the top side, and to be only 20-points down at three quarter time; I’d say we played excellent for two and a half quarters, were even with them for half a quarter, then we played very poor in the last,” he said.
The Eagles held a small lead up until midway through the third quarter and as a result of their inaccuracy, when Montmorency did have their burst they were able to create a substantial lead instead of having to peg back a larger deficit.
With much bigger bodies on the postage stamp ground, the Magpies were able to blow away the Eagles in the final term to run out 63-point victors.
Bugden will look forward to next week, hopeful of implementing the same game plan with more success.
“We will look at playing the same against West Preston and we should be confident with Chris Horman back and Scotty McAuliffe back and hopefully we don’t lose anyone from today’s game.”
Whittlesea 11.18.84 def by Montmorency 23.9.147
Goal Kickers: B. Briffa 3, N. Andrews 2, T. Behan 2, J. Page , J. Daniel , M. Dyson , R. Collins
Best Players: J. Page, B. Briffa, N. Snowdon, G. Heenan, J. Daniel, M. Dyson