BY: MITCH TERPSTRA (NEAFL MEDIA)
The Canberra Demons have defeated Sydney University with a 24-point victory, marking their first win at Phillip Oval on Saturday.
The Demons were able to take advantage of a dominant second quarter to make Aaron Bruce’s 150th game a memorable one, running out 13.10 (88) to 8.16 (64) victors.
It was a dominant second term, where the Demons booted seven goals to one, which turned the match in their favour.
Canberra Demons coach Kade Klemke said the pressure and contested ball was fundamental to their success.
“I think in that second quarter we started getting on top in the clearances, I think we won them pretty easily and the most pleasing thing was we nearly had double possessions and we still had more tackles then them.” Klemke told neafl.com.au.
Canberra started exactly the way they would have wanted to by Rhys Pollock kicking the first major out of a forward stoppage.
After that the quarter was filled with the ball landing in Sydney University’s forward 50. The Students were able to get the better portion of contested ball in the middle but struggled to capitalise scoring opportunities, kicking 1.7 for the quarter.
Angus Baker had a dominant first quarter collecting 10 of his 26 disposals, while the students had an even spread of contributors led by Jake Veale, Bailey Stewart and Harry Morrison.
The Demons absolutely dominated the second quarter, making the most of winning contested ball while laying pressure against their opponents.
The Students were losing the advantage they had with the ball in the middle and wasted forward 50 entries. This was made no better by Alex Paech kicking two extraordinary snaps from the same pocket.
Sydney University’s co-captain Sam Tagliabue was happy with their contest but thought it lacked in the second quarter.
“We started really well, and we were happy with our contest early, we just couldn’t quite hit the scoreboard early,” Tagliabue said.
“They sort of got a hold of us in the second quarter and got a run on and they were just really dangerous moving it forward, especially in transition.”
Coming out of the main break, the Students started the second half exactly the right way with two goals from spearing forward entries to get back in the game.
From that moment on, the Canberra side were able to wrestle back the ascendancy by getting plenty of the ball. The Demons were wasteful when heading inside 50 often looking to get it deep with no Canberra targets able to get the ball to ground for a contest.
As a result, the Students were able to run, carry and spread well to kick two goals of their own by rebounding the ball from their back half.
Going into the final term, the Students pegged back the margin to 20 with a goal to Morrison, and the game was in the balance.
Majority of the quarter saw the ball in the Students forward 50, which at one stage saw them kick five consecutive behinds. By that stage, the game was over and the Demons could celebrate Aaron Bruce’s 150th game in style.
“Aaron really typifies the way we want to play and our standards he is a great leader he has come a long way since I have been at the club, Klemke said.
“The focus today was just to play for him and play like he would, he would put the team first and it was great to get the win for him.”
For Tagliabue, there is plenty to work on for the Students as the slipped down to sixth on the ladder.
“We will just keep looking to improve and we will just continue to keep driving the standards of the group and just maintaining some consistency will be the main thing,” he said.
“We were really happy with parts of our game, we just want to do it for the whole four quarters.”
The Students will look to improve their scoring in-front of goal and to keep a consistent four quarter performance when they match-up against the NT Thunder at Blacktown next week.
Meanwhile the Demons will take confidence out of this result and will look to copy that over a four-quarter effort at Southport next weekend.
Canberra v Sydney University at Phillip Oval
CANBERRA 2.1 9.4 11.7 13.10 (88)
SYDNEY UNI 1.7 2.8 6.11 8.16 (64)
GOALS – Canberra: H Carr 4 A Paech 3 S Martyn 2 J Maynard A Smout A Baker R Pollock. Sydney Uni: H Morrison 2 T Banuelos 2 J Hiscox D Cordell N Coxall T Davies.
BEST – Canberra: H Carr A Baker J Maynard J Spina G Richardson A Paech. Sydney Uni: N Reinhard D Cordell S Fong M Krochmal T Banuelos S Barkley.