THE Griffith Swans have kick-started their Riverina Football League premiership campaign after an excellent 40-point win against the Narrandera Eagles at Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday.
After coping two heavy losses at the hands of Wagga Tigers and CAK, the Swans desperately needed to find the form that saw them undefeated for a month, and on the verge of cracking the top two.
During the lead-up to the game Griffith coach Guy Orton released the shackles of expectations on his side, telling them to back themselves and their ability.
The plan worked, and Griffith exploded out of the blocks kicking nine goals in the opening term to take a stranglehold of the game.
Orton said the first term showcased the style of football his side is capable of playing – right from the opening bounce.
“We got our confidence back and just played to enjoy the game. Everybody started the game well and wanted to play for each other, which is exactly what I’d spoken to the boys during the week about,” Orton said.
“You can see by our first quarter, as soon as we got two on them all of the boys opened up and we played we know we can.
“We sort of let them back into the game a bit, they did well to kick back to get close, but luckily we ran over the top of them late in the game.
“We probably should have won by a lot more than that, but I’m definitely happy with the win.”
After their initial onslaught, the Swans steadied as the home side recovered somewhat to trail by 42, however still needed to do plenty of work to get back into the game.
But the Eagles showed why they were equal with the Swans at the start of the round on the ladder, kicking 5.4 in the third term to put the result back on the table.
But another five majors to the team in red and white saw them run out deserving winners and back as contenders for a finals berth.
“There were some good signs from some of the changes were made, we put Toby Blissett out on the wing from the weekend,” Orton said.
“He wasn’t playing how he was last year, but he really stepped up yesterday (Saturday).
“I spoke to him (Blissett) last night, and he’s happy, so that’s all it really takes – just talking to the guys so they need to get their confidence back.
“I said to a few of the guys, if you’re not in the game by kicking goals there are other things you can do, shepherding, tackling, it’s all of those one per cent things that contribute towards a win.”
James Toscan was a popular target up forward for Griffith in kicking five majors while Jethro Calma-Holt and Dean Crack both bagged three.
Mick Duncan, Glen Snaidero, Dean Crack, Brett Owen, Matt Crack and Toscan were all adjudged best on ground for the victors.