The Yass Roos held on by 20 points this weekend to defeat the Murrumbateman Eagles and put another win on the board in the Battle of the Barton.
The day began with a moving indigenous smoke ceremony courtesy of local Ngunnawal man, Scott Bell.
The first quarter started, and although it was relatively scrappy, the Roos dominated much of the play and kept the ball in their half for the most part.
The Eagles converted well from their limited opportunities and headed into the first break, lucky to be only 17 points down.
The second quarter told a similar tale, with the Roos controlling most of the contest. Still, the Eagles were again proving efficient inside 50 and keeping the Roos within arm’s reach.
The half time scoreline was Yass 8.9-57 to Murrumbateman 5.2-32.
Two yellow cards early in the third quarter to Jacob Negri and Toby Serafin was the horror start for the Roos, and the Eagles capitalised on their complacency and threatened to cut further into Yass’ lead.
The three-quarter time siren went and the game looked set to boil over, as the physicality of the third term saw tempers flare and players from both sides had to be dragged into their respective huddles.
In the fourth quarter, to both sides credit, the focus was back on the football, and the Roos held on to be 20-point victors.
The final scores were Yass Roos 9.18-72 defeating Murrumbateman Eagles 8.4-52.
For the Roos, Fraser Cloney kicked four majors (and a few too many behinds), whilst Samuel Williams kicked three.
For the Eagles, Kristopher Milne kicked three, and Brent Ford kicked two.
Yass Coach Dominic Johns hinted that the Roos performance wasn’t quite at the standard he’s come to expect, despite being pleased with the final result.
“It was a tough-fought game. It was always going to be tough against Murrumbateman.”
“It was good to get up with the win, but I thought we could’ve played a little bit better, but we still got the win, and that’s what’s important,” he said.
Dominic found the Eagles impressive and noted they seemed to have a great understanding of their game plan.
“They were very handy, they had a few good players, and they were very well drilled,” he said.
The Roos had the bye the week prior and will again play no football this week due to the public holiday on Monday, a factor the Roos Coach wasn’t overly concerned by.
“I think it’s good; it gives a few of the boys a chance to rest up some sore bodies and really kickstart the second half of the year,” he said.
Wingman Brad Porter played what was perhaps his best game for the season, whilst Richard Allen played a pivotal role down back, intercepting countless Eagles’ attacks in the second half.
Murrumbateman Eagles Coach Brent Fraser was overtly proud of the fight his side showed.
“As we were coming into it, we knew Yass were going to be a challenge; they’re a top-four side.”
“I was actually really proud of our efforts; it was a truly good hit out between both sides,” he said.
A strong point for the Roos each week this year has been their physicality, and the Eagles proved to be every bit as physical as the Roos and if anything, bested them in this space.
“We always knew Yass were going to be strong, and I guess to try and match Yass, you’ve got to bring it to them on the physical side.”
“There were some big bodies out there and some big clashes, and there was some heat there at three-quarter time, but both sides came out and were very well disciplined, so it was a credit to both sides,” said Brent.
Key contributors for the Eagles, according to their coach, were Kristopher Milne, David Guttler, Joshua Wallace and Blake Hourn.
The Eagles have two weeks off now with the bye on the other side of the public holiday weekend, before three very winnable games against Molonglo, Ainslie and Goulburn.
The Roos play the 6th placed Batemans Bay, before taking on the 3rd placed Southern Cats and the top of the table ANU, in what will undoubtedly be a tough few weeks of football.