Sport

Scoreboard pressure a vital key

By Andrew Johnston

HOW do you respond to a 71-point thumping?

Hopefully, you do so by coming out and giving your next opponent a touch up.

That’s the situation Echuca finds itself in this week in round five of the Goulburn Valley League.

The Murray Bombers have been good most of the year, as well as being good in the first half of last Saturday’s loss to reigning premier Kyabram.

It may not seem like it when you see the scores, but Echuca was a good team for much of the game.

For the majority of the first quarter the Murray Bombers were in the lead and their pressure throughout the rest of the game was fantastic.

This pressure game is something the Murray Bombers will need to continue on to this weeks clash with Euroa at Vic Park.

Currently at two and two, the Magpies sit eighth on the table.

But that position is deceptive.

This is the side that came within two goals of upsetting Kyabram in round two.

So, what do Echuca need to do differently?

The simple answer is get reward for effort.

Echuca locked the footy inside their attacking 50 for the majority of the first half against Ky — for a return of 2.11.

Echuca’s final score of 4.13 (37) — to Kyabram’s 16.12 (108) — is something that has left co-coach Andrew Walker more than a little frustrated.

‘‘We needed to take our opportunities,’’ he said.

‘‘We did a lot of good stuff around the ground, our pressure on Kyabram was fantastic and that’s something that we want to be defined by as a team, the pressure we bring to the game.

‘‘But we let ourselves down by not taking those chances. If you get to half time and you’ve flipped that and kicked 11 goals two, it’s a different story.

‘‘We’ve reflected on that this week. We’ve looked at ways we can improve ourselves in that area and hopefully that’s what we can produce this week.’’

So now, Euroa is the task that awaits the Murray Bombers.

A win sees Echuca go to four and one — an incredible start to 2018.

The coaches and players know what they need to do.

A good start to the game tomorrow will be key, but this is a more than winnable match for the Murray Bombers and they should be able to come away with the four points.