By Nicholas Galea
Coburg has been defeated by Werribee by 86 points at Piranha Park after a competitive opening half unfortunately souring vice captain Jesse Corigliano’s 50thgame for the club.
The opening term didn’t get off to the best start as Werribee kicked the opening three goals of the game before Peter McEvoy got the Lions on the board with a classy set shot from 30 metres out on a tight angle before Marcus Lentini followed suite with a goal of his own.
Coburg started to get into the game, breaking even or the term in inside 50s, possession and time in forward half but Werribee were just that bit more cleaner going forward extending the lead to 26 points. A late goal to Fletcher Carroll kept the Lions in touch going into the quarter time.
The second quarter started brightly for the Lions as Mitch Podhajski took a flying mark 30 metres out and duly converted his set shot narrowing the margin to 14 points at the second minute mark of the term.
Although both sides showed passages of fluent ball movement it was their backlines who held firm. Momentum continued to sway throughout the remainder of the term as both sides played contrasting methods of football but it was the Tigers who extended their lead to 29 points at the main break.
The third quarter saw Werribee hit the ground running as they kept the pressure on the Lions back six making it difficult for them to distribute the ball cleanly and safely beyond the wings and ultimately resulted in them kicking the first goal of the second half.
Marcus Lentini shortly kicked his second goal to keep the match interesting after the Lions were rewarded for their forward half pressure but Werribee were able to absorb the pressure and counter attack on the turnover kicking the next four goals.
Despite Coburg’s best efforts Werribee continued to use the ball aggressively and with fluency through the corridor and went into the last quarter with a 51 point lead.
Changes were made at the start of the last quarter in a bid to shake things up with Podhajski moving into the ruck and Coburg’s co-captains in Pete McEvoy and Ryan Exon also moving from their traditional positions lining up on the wing and half forward respectively.
Werribee continued to apply pressure on the Lions back six as they started to control the centre square and their clean ball use saw them kick six final quarter goals.
The main highlight of the quarter from a Coburg perspective was Exon kicking his first goal since 2017 while Jesse Corigliano gathered 16 possessions and laid seven tackles in his milestone game.
Speaking post game, forwards coach Brent Taylor felt that in the first half there were some positive signs but ultimately a lack of class and composure throughout the game was the reason for the loss.
‘The first half we were only three or four goals down, it was just a few things structurally we wanted to change to get back into the contest,’ he said.
‘During the third quarter we actually started to move the ball with a bit more intensity and try to take the game on but unfortunately we didn’t execute with those kicks and as a result I think it was four or five goals from turnovers.’
‘We started to work the way we wanted to but execution let us down and unfortunately we faded away that last quarter.’
Midfielder Jack Sandric also reiterated Taylor’s point stating that their ball use could have been better.
‘I think the first half we were right in the game despite the scoreboard. In the second half I think it was our skill execution that let us down.’
Sandric also found himself lined up for majority of the game on former Fremantle star Michael Barlow and was able to restrict his influence on the game.
‘He’s a quality player and a key part of their team. I was just happy to play my role and do my part for the team. I think we won stoppages so I guess that’s a little win in the overall scheme of things.’
We encourage all Coburg Football Club members and supporters to come down to our game and cheer on our boys when we take on Williamstown at Downer Oval next week. The opening bounce will commence at 2:00pm.
Coburg: 3.0 18 4.1 25 5.4 34 6.6 42
Werribee: 6.2 38 8.6 54 13.7 85 19.14 128
Goals: Lentini 2, Exon, McEvoy, Carroll and Podhajski
Bests: J. Sandric, A. Swierzbiolek, M. Lentini, R. Exon, L. Whelan and M. Baker