Nottingham hosted all three Round 2 league matches on a sunny day at a great new venue and were eager to play the 2011 Grand Final rematch against Huddersfield Rams on home soil in what was their first game of the season after a bye in Round 1. The Scorpions welcomed a host of new players to the club with a lot of green, young, British talent looking to make an impact in their debut.
A traditionally slow starting Scorpions came out firing in the first quarter taking control of the game early on with a total of 6 goals and 6 behinds to Rams 5 behinds. The scoring pace was set early by a new midfield and forward combination that saw Aussie import Andrew Kraefft
take control of the rucks, linking with returning player Vinny Carey
and mainstay Ash Swift
on the ball. Martin Kearney
, Sam Wood
and Luke Wilken
made the most of ball up front picking up a handful of goals each. Huddersfield moved the ball well up to their forwards given the chance but the score deficit was kept high by some great defense from Keith Farr
, Lee Neicho
and former front man turned full back Rich Lucas
, putting pressure on the kickers and keeping them shooting from hard angles.
The second quarter saw Huddersfield up the pressure in what was a more even quarter, putting on some big hits and this time making the most of their chances bagging 3 goals and 3 behinds. The Scorpions kept a steady scoring rate though in a hard fought 4 goals and 5 behinds, where Andrew Kraefft
was forced to take a few long shots near the 40m, to end the half ahead Nottingham 71 to Huddersfield 26.
The third quarter saw more spirited defence from Huddersfield but their lack of fresh substitutes began to tell as Scorpions newcomer Niall Crowcroft
exploded onto the scene quickly scoring two goals. Martin Kearney
bagged a couple more thanks to some assists from the midfielders, but a few missed kicks gave the Scorpions 4 goals and 4 behinds. Huddersfield again got themselves around the Scorpions defence into some good scoring opportunities but couldn't convert ending the quarter with only 1 goal and 4 behinds.
The Scorpions ran away with the final quarter as fatigue set into Huddersfield. Goals were shared around players, one even being scored by a run up the middle from centre half back Keith Farr
. Assists from the midfielders set up virtually all of the Scorpions goals in the final quarter but some poor accuracy led to 7 goals with 8 behinds. Huddersfield fought valiantly until the end getting 3 behinds to close out the game Nottingham 149 to Huddersfield 40.
The final score doesn't quite do justice to Huddersfield, who with a bit more accuracy and fresh legs could have easily closed the gap. All in all a good game for the Scorpions start to the season against an always resilient opponent.
All the new boys played fantastic in their first game of Aussie Rules and we were impressed with the performances of returning player Vinny Carey
and the new Aussie imports Andrew Kraefft
and Luke Wilken
. Special mentions to Lee Neicho
and Rich Lucas
for the hard work in the back line and Ash Swift
and Martin Kearney
up front. Andrew Kraefft
earned a bunch of votes from the lads in his first match for the Scorpions, but the man of the match was undoubtedly Niall Crowcroft
...to make such an impact in his debut earned a lot of respect from the boys and we hope to see you get even better in the coming weeks.