Opportunity lost for Gippsland Power

WITH the chance to continue its winning form and cement itself as the TAC Cup competition leader, it turned out to be an opportunity lost for Gippsland Power at home against the Sandringham Dragons.

Wil Hams and Jack Johnstone were back in the Power line-up after recovering from minor injuries, but important contributors Jack Leslie, Simon Deery and Josh Cashman were unavailable. The Dragons on the other hand were back to full strength with the return of their stars from private school football.

It was a day for wet weather footy. Conditions were tough with a strong bone chilling wind blowing across the ground, the centre square a muddy bog. 

The Dragons wasted several forward forays early as the Power led by 14 points at quarter-time with the margin remaining the same at half-time. Despite dominating key statistical areas like forward 50 entries, the Power was being outplayed by the Dragons’ ability to convert these opportunities on the scoreboard.

In the third quarter Dragons took control of much of the play. After conceding the first goal, the visitors kicked four unanswered major to go to the final break six points up.

The Dragons eventually won 8.10 (58) to 7.5 (47), but the greater concern is the damage done to the Power’s confidence.

On a day when the Power defence was under constant pressure, Anthony Tipungwuti was outstanding as he shut down dangerous opponents and then generated play with his skills, pace and willingness to run and carry the ball.

In the thick of things all day was Josh Scott who worked tirelessly at centre half-forward.

Lachlan Channing had the same positive attitude to the challenges of the hard stuff and was also an important creator of good passages of play. He consistently put his body on the line when it mattered most.

Will Hams made a significant return from injury with a typical team focused effort. He too limited his opponent’s possessions but was also able to be a playmaker for his side.

Backman Jack Johnstone was another to make an important return from injury and showed that he will be a key factor in the sides finals tilt. He totally dominated key Dragons forwards with disciplined and hard defence as well as being willing to win the ball himself to set up team mates.

The final game of the regular season for the Power will take place at Moe tomorrow against the Northern Knights.

It’s likely Josh Cashman will be back and young ruckman Jack Leslie will also return after suspension, both have been missed.

Lachlan Channing had the same positive attitude to the challenges of the hard stuff and was also an important creator of good passages of play. He consistently put his body on the line when it mattered most.

Will Hams made a significant return from injury with a typical team focused effort. He too limited his opponent’s possessions but was also able to be a playmaker for his side.

Backman Jack Johnstone was another to make an important return from injury and showed that he will be a key factor in the sides finals tilt. He totally dominated key Dragons forwards with disciplined and hard defence as well as being willing to win the ball himself to set up team mates.

The final game of the regular season for the Power will take place at Moe on Saturday against the Northern Knights.

It’s likely Josh Cashman will be back and young ruckman Jack Leslie will also return after suspension, both have been missed.