RENNIE will have some selection headaches in the coming weeks after a solid win against Dookie United.
The Hoppers were aided in no small measure by a number of non-regular senior players.
It’s a position any coach would be glad to be in.
Both sides struggled early against trying conditions but by quarter time the Hoppers had established a handy lead on their way to their 10.10 (70) to 4.10 (34) victory.
Coach Ryan Forsyth said the Hoppers initially struggled against the breeze in the opening minutes of the game.
“We hung tough in the first 10 or 15 minutes, then started to get a bit of run of play and managed to get a bit of an advantage,” he said.
“We were just able to hold on to that throughout the day.
“Dookie were gallant and fought hard.
“We didn’t really extend our advantage too far but our first quarter definitely set it up for us.
“It was a tough day, it was raining and wet and they were fairly boggy conditions.
“But the boys responded fairly well.
“It was a good battle and contested footy.
“And for the conditions the standard wasn’t too bad.”
Despite the conditions which he described as “a real slog”, Forsyth praised his side’s defensive efforts.
“Defensively we were really good, not just our back six but our midfield worked hard and pushed both ways,” he said.
“And when we had the flow of play we took advantage — our mids were really important.”
Duane Rhodes booted three goals for the Hoppers while Brad Lewis was named their best.
But there were some new faces who also showed they have plenty to offer the Hoppers.
“We had a few players out but it’s going to be a difficult week for us at selection,” Forsyth said.
“We had a couple play first games and a lot stepped up and had terrific games — it really was a good, team effort.”
First gamer Denver Bruce backed up his game with the thirds to impress with the seniors, and Ryan Burns ran on for his first game as a sub in the final quarter.
Marc Playford also had his first senior game in a number of weeks and showed solid defensive credentials, taking important marks and providing a link to the forwards.
“There were a few players who really stood up and it was great to see,” Forsyth said.
Duane Hueston kicked two for Dookie, and Declan Barlow was named as their best player.