Newly-appointed co-captains Jackson Allen and James Ives were sublime for the Hornets in their 14.18 (102) to 4.13 (37) victory over the Students at Voxson Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The first quarter was a heated contest with both sides struggling to find clean possessions, and the home side took a 22-16 lead into the first break.
With plenty of reason for optimism, the Students started the second quarter well, pushing forward consistently with intensity, however the Hornets’ elite rebounding ability proved deadly, punishing Uni’s lack of conversion with eight unanswered second quarter goals.
The Hornets’ pressure remained for the four quarters, with the Students managing only two goals after quarter time.
The importance of such a result for Aspley was not lost on its coach Daniel Webster, who was delighted with his side’s dominance.
“It was good to get the job done,” he told neafl.com.au.
“It was obviously important for us being 3-5 before the game, so we’re trying to square that ledger up.
“Looking at the inside 50 numbers being 65-37 – that’s obviously a really good performance and one of our focuses is to win the contested possession as well, which we did.”
Praised as “fantastic” by the coach, co-captains Ives and Allen were superb in the win. Ives racked up 29 disposals, five inside 50s and four marks, including one courageous grab running back with the flight.
Lethal from the backline, Jackson Allen had six rebound 50s from his 20 touches.
The Hornets could well have increased the 65-point final margin, with James Nelis kicking 3.5, Jono Freeman missing a number of “sitters” to finish with 2.2, and ruckman Jake Spencer gathering three behinds.
Veteran Matt Payne was in fine form once again to gather 30 disposals, while 17-year-old debutant Tom Jeffrey made his mark with two goals from his nine touches.
Jake Bartholomaeus and Lewis Stevenson both attained team-highs of 23 disposals for the Students, with Sam Tagliabue’s 29 hit-outs and impressive ground-level work the only other major highlight in what was a grim day for the young side.
Things won’t get easier anytime soon for the Students, who host the first-placed Brisbane Lions next week, while the Hornets head to Alice Springs to take on NT Thunder for the second time in five weeks.
Aspley Hornets v Sydney University at Voxson Oval
ASPLEY 3.4 8.7 10.13 14.18 (102)
SYDNEY UNI 2.4 2.7 3.9 4.13 (37)
GOALS – Aspley: J Nelis 3 C Stackelberg 2 T Jeffrey 2 J Freeman 2 J Giles W Gowers L Hampton J Hayden J Ives. Sydney Uni: T Davies 2 T Banuelos D Cordell.
BEST – Aspley: J Ives J Spencer M Payne T Templeton L Dawson J Allen. Sydney Uni: N Reinhard S Barkley S Tagliabue E Cole B Stewart A Sierakowski.