Tough-man stuff leaves Dogs flat

Yarrawonga's Kayne Pettifer
Yarrawonga's Kayne Pettifer

A FOCUS on the man and not the ball was behind Yarrawonga’s commanding 112-point win over Wodonga at J.C. Lowe Oval on Saturday.

Wodonga’s undisciplined opening term allowed the Pigeons to set up a winning lead by quarter-time with the visitors intent on making a physical presence from the opening bounce.

Midfielder Crag Ednie appeared the main target but the superstar ripped the visitors to shreds with the Pigeons kicking eight goals to one.

Although Yarrawonga kicked seven goals in the second term, the Bulldogs looked better with fresh focus and four goals.

The home team also had a wealth of scoring options with Brandon Symes, Ed Bayles, Kayne Pettifer, Craig Whinray and Drew Barnes all multiple goal-kickers.

When Wodonga took the match on, it was a case of seeing the Bulldogs at their worst early and their best in the third term.

At times, Wodonga took the ball from one end to the other as they ran wide and took on their opponents.

Nick Beattie was a tower of strength up forward, ruckman Sam Maher did well and Bob Russell, coach Ben Hollands and Dylan Beattie were busy as the Bulldogs failed by just three points to match the Pigeons’ 3.8.

Yarrawonga book-ended the contest with another eight-goal final term with its twin towers Brandon Symes and Steve McKee booting five goals between them.

Milestone man Jeremy O’Brien drifted from defence to kick a major in his 200th appearance.

O’Brien, along with Bronson Schofield and Drew Barnes, rebounded well from defence while Ednie, Tyler Bonat, Xavier Leslie and Marcus Cummins dominated.

“We are developing a style that has taken a while,” coach Chris Kennedy said.

“Running out games is also pleasing.

“Last week we kicked 10 in the final quarter and this week eight so its shows we are keeping the pressure on.”

Wodonga coach Ben Hollands said his team had paid dearly for a poor start.

“We were blown out of the water early,” Hollands said.

“There is no doubt that some of these top teams lick their tips when they are playing us.

“They run really hard to win the footy.

“We needed to get the ball in our hands more to stop that.

“Just 40 possessions in the first quarter made it tough.”