Courage in defeat Coach praises Tigers’ efforts

August 09, 2017

Cobram's Kade Zito gets his kick in while pressured from behind.

Cobram faced a formidable opponent at Scott Recreation Reserve on Saturday afternoon but did not flinch.

The Tigers ran out against Nathalia with the courage of a team on the improve and proceeded to show why they are a better team than in recent seasons.

Cobram’s co-coach Josh Noonan said his team made a great effort to win the match.

‘‘Probably the first quarter wasn’t where we needed to be,’’ Noonan said.

‘‘But after that we got ourselves back into the contest, tightening up and not being as loose as we were in the first quarter — trying to stop Nathalia’s run,’’ Noonan said.

‘‘At half-time we definitely knew we were in the contest, though in the third quarter there were opportunities we should have capitalised on.

‘‘If we had been able to get a run-on like we did in the Mulwala game, we would have had a chance.’’

Although Tiger Tom Scott was the top goal scorer on the day, only three Cobram players produced accurate results, compared with eight from Nathalia.

Noonan said the Tiger’s forward line was a work in progress.

‘‘We probably haven’t had the quality to finish off that work, and Nathalia’s fullback did a pretty good job,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s a bit of frustration for us with our execution down in the forward line; it’s an area we will be rectifying, to try to get a bit more bite down there, a bit more hunger.

‘‘It’s about making the players more accountable and improving the work rate, especially in the forward line.

‘‘We are a good team, but pretty young and immature at the moment.’’

None of that immaturity was evident in the Tiger’s dazzling display of skills just before the half-time siren though, when they produced a powerful effort that impressed spectators and built an expectation that the side may have come out in the second half and taken the lead.

However, Nathalia turned on the goals after the break, with Cobram hitting a dry patch and only scoring one goal in the third term. In the final quarter, however, Cobram bounced back to outscore Nathalia for the quarter.

By then it was too late and Nathalia ran out with a well-deserved 19-point victory.

Making the most of opportunities and efficiency up forward were the takeaway lessons for Cobram.

Jordan Cristani sustained a hand injury during a tussle for the ball.

‘‘We haven’t been too bad with injuries this season, so this week was one of our worst I think,’’ Noonan said.

‘‘During the break we will focus on working as a team — that’s where we’re at, just getting the little things in order.’’

●In a split round, a well-rested Barooga will travel to Rumbalara on Saturday.

- Grahame Whyte

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