THE Griffith Swans have come crashing back to earth in the Riverina Football League losing by 80 points to the Wagga Tigers at Maher Oval on Saturday.
Fresh off their nail-biting win against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, Griffith fell back into old habits, with poor decision making around contested ball seeing Tigers run away with the game.
Griffith coach Guy Orton said in some ways it was a loss his side had to have as they failed to combat the Tigers’ press, which saw them restrict the Swans to a goal-less first three quarters.
“It’s probably good in a way, it’s a reality check for us. We were disappointed obviously but we just have to bounce back,” Orton said.
“We were making silly decisions and waiting for our better players to step up, rather than guys just going themselves.
“But they (Wagga) played their press quite well and we had not come against that yet, but we need to made some adjustments.”
Tigers opened up a 21-point lead at the first break with Ben Perkins (six goals) and James Hodges (four) proving to be excellent targets up front for the home side.
Wagga ran away with the game further in the second quarter kicking another five goals as the Swans could only add four points to their tally.
The mountain they had to climb in the second-half grew with each passing minute as they trailed by 48 at the long break.
Despite having come back from six-goal deficits in recent games, Orton said Wagga simply did not give his side the opportunity to take easy shots on goal.
“Because we were pressured, everytime we took the ball forward they were on us. I think that’s that reason why most of the shots were sprayed,” he said.
“Some set shots that we’d expect to make did miss, but there was a lot of pressure going forward.
“We knew bringing in a couple of new people – not that it would rattle the team – but things would be upset a little bit.
“But all of the new guys were very good, they came in and did the job given to them very well.
Dean Crack (three goals) and James Fallon (one) were finally able to get Griffith on the board in the last quarter, but by then the game was over as a contest.
Matthew Noonan, John Evans, Thomas West, Michael Duncan, Che Jenkins and Dean Crack were the best on ground for Griffith while Tigers’ Shaun Flanigan, Michael O’Dea, Craig Pullen, John Anstee, Jackson Kew and John Simpson were outstanding for the home side.
With the representative bye this weekend for most of the Swans, Orton, Jenkins, Duncan, Noonan, Jethro Calma-Holt and James Toscan will attend RFL training on Wednesday, with hopes of being selected to play Black Diamond League in Sydney.