Sport

Ky put Echuca to the sword

by
May 01, 2018

THUD!

What the hell was that?

Oh, Echuca coming back to earth (with a thud weighing 71 points).

For one quarter it had seemed promising.

Echuca started strongly in its Goulburn Valley League match against the all-conquering Kyabram on Saturday, leading the Bombers for the majority of that first quarter.

But unfortunately the visitors failed to get scoreboard reward for effort.

After quarter-time, Kyabram did what they do oh, so well — they put Echuca to the sword.

So OK Echuca, whatever you want to call it, that game’s out of the way.

And if there was any confusion about what the Goulburn Valley League benchmark is, everyone at Vic Park has it clear now.

How clear?

Crystal.

Playing the Kyabram wrecking machine is as gold plated a guarantee as you can get – of losing. The Bombers haven’t dropped a game since 2015.

In his three seasons at the helm Paul Newman has never coached a losing game.

Playing for Echuca is a slightly more complex equation.

The coaching dream team of Andrew Walker and Simon Maddox could have told their players how hard it was going to be but those lessons are only really learnt on the field.

Ky can continue on its merry way, building a streak their grandchildren will speak of in hushed tones.

Echuca simply has to improve.

There were signs on the day that the side was getting there.

Tackling pressure was at a high throughout the game, with Ky on occasions seeming worried and second guessing themselves.

Echuca has also worked on their patience with the football, not rushing possession but waiting for the best option to present itself before making a move.

It will get to play Ky again – at home – but 71 points in the first showdown will need a massive turnaround to take out the rematch.

Mind you, Walker and Maddox have at no stage spruiked a snake oil pitch of grand finals in their first season at the helm.

Both agreed they had a culture to repair before the renaissance reached the trophy cabinet.

And it was a message that was spelt out to the players during the breaks.

‘‘We are playing against a side who haven’t lost in two and half years,’’ Maddox told his charges at the final change.

‘‘They’re a great side who have played a lot of footy together. We are still a bunch of kids learning how to play football together. We are going to make mistakes and we are going to take time to get this right.’’

But the message was clear — the side needed to stay the course.

‘‘We are doing good things out there,’’ he told them.

‘‘Our effort has been fantastic, our chase and our pressure is exactly what we want.’’

The one major concern raised — patches.

While the side had opened with three wins, there was vocal concern about the team only playing patches of good football rather than full four quarter efforts.

So far, when the team is playing those patches of good football they have been getting it pretty right.

Saturday was an aberration.

What the team must now do, for player self-confidence and fan belief, is reorganise, get on the training track and then on Saturday when Euroa comes to town get onto Vic Park and win.

Preferably by kicking the crap out of them.

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