It started the season amid a wave of positivity, but Cobram found itself on the wrong side of football history, becoming the first MFL team to lose to one of the incoming PDFL teams.
Tungamah was inspired by its dominant full full-forward Ash Saunders, who kicked 10 goals in a remarkable display of power marking and accurate kicking for goal.
The Tigers tried several match-ups for the hulking forward but their undersized defence had no answers for a man who was running hot all day.
From the opening bounce it was clear Tungamah had come to play and it had a clear plan in place to stop Cobram’s run and gun style of football which had served it well so far this season.
On a significantly smaller oval at Tungamah, the Tigers were unable to break the shackles and get any fluid ball movement happening.
Despite being second best for the majority of the contest, Cobram had its chances to pinch an unlikely victory but was wayward in attack, kicking 14.14 to the Bears’ deadly accurate score of 17.4, led by spearhead Saunders.
Cobram coach Josh Noonan said it was a disappointing day at the office for his troops.
‘‘I guess Tungamah just outsmarted us on a smaller ground and we shot ourselves in the foot with our goal kicking and didn’t take our opportunities,’’ he said.
‘‘Saunders is a big, strong fellow and we just didn’t have a good match-up for him, unfortunately. But that was only half the battle — the other side to it was that we didn’t have enough pressure on the ball carrier getting it in there.’’
With the Tigers having a bye this weekend, Noonan said it would be a good chance for his young group to take stock and rest up.
‘‘We just didn’t seem to have the energy around the contest that we have had in previous weeks and the week off probably couldn’t have come at a better time for us after suffering a couple of injuries on the day as well,’’ he said.
On a more positive note for the Tigers, the club was able to blood two players from the thirds for their debut in Luca Allen and Dylan Ashcroft and Noonan said they both handled themselves well in the heat of battle.
‘‘It was good they could get a taste of senior footy and they didn’t look out of place either,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘They both did some good things. Young ‘Choco’ Allan is certainly going to be a player to watch for the future.