23s FIRE EARLY, STAY HOT

Reigning Thirds premier Old Xaverians began their title defence with a strong win over Old Melburnians at Sportscover on Saturday.

Shane Healy's boys jumped away early on the ground that has seen many happy hunting days for the Red and Blacks, and were never really threatened on the scoreboard thereafter. 

With a group of new players joining the Super Coach's team this year, there will be plenty of talent to work with, but also plenty of work to be done to ensure the team reaches and sustains it best. 

Coach's Comments:

The mighty OX Reds opened their season at a typically windy but atypically hot Elsternwick Park.

The OMs have been quite a thorn in thirds footy for us in recent years and seem to be always competitive.

This battle was no exception.

We opened with four goals to the scoreboard end with the breeze, but their single reply appeared to have the game at par at quarter time.

Our intensity and tackling pressure in the second quarter was excellent and with a preparedness to run the ball to the northern end into the breeze, we were able to score and actually increase our advantage by half time.

Berry, Agius, Beaton and Nash were strong at the stoppages and our defence was solid led by Ongarato, Stanley and O’Sullivan though some of our attempted release kicks to open up the game were underwhelming to say the least.

We held the OMs pretty comfortably in the finish, with skills diminishing the further the game went as exhaustion took over in the hot unpleasant conditions.

With lots of players to rotate, we’ll see a fresh new look in R2, but keep training hard and I’m sure we’ll have another really exciting year.

Old Melburnians              1.1-7   3.2-20   4.2-26     6.6-42

Old Xaverians Red      4.4-28   7.4-46    9.8-62  10.10-70

Goal Kickers: M. Sharkey 2, N. Pirrie 2, T. Beaton 2, O. Silk, T. Fantasia, P. Nunan, J. Samartzis
Best Players: J. Agius, M. Ongarato, D. Nash, J. Bueno, L. Berry, T. Beaton