Disappointing start to season for Swans

Australian football

GRIFFITH’S centenary season has started off in heartbreaking fashion, losing by two points to reigning RFL wooden spooners Turvey Park on Saturday in a thriller at Maher Oval in Wagga.

Made to pay for their inaccuracy in front of goal and poor decision-making across the ground, the Swans outscored the Bulldogs in the final term but fell 8.9 (57) to 7.13 (55) in the season opener.

Despite holding a five-point lead at half-time, Griffith were overrun in the third quarter as the home side piled on four goals to hold a 10-point margin going into the last change.

The Swans had plenty of chances but couldn’t make them count – 

kicking a woeful 3.9 in the second half – and will now head into the club’s Anzac Day clash with arch-rivals Leeton-Whitton on the back of losing form.

“We played terrible,” coach Brandon Mathews said.

“But if you can play as bad as we did and only lose by two points, there’s a fair few positives that will come out of it.

“We just let ourselves down with decision making and that put too much pressure on the guy with the ball.

“One thing you can’t take away from them is that they gave it their best shot until the end, but we were just under the pump.

“We were good in patches but nowhere near our best.”

The Swans’ standouts were defensive pair James Taylor and Tim Matheson, who were brilliant across half-back.

Ruck recruit Michael Griffiths made his club debut despite 

carrying an ankle injury and put his 207-centimetre frame to good use by dominating the ruck.

“It wasn’t ideal for him going into it a bit lame and not being able to train properly but like everyone, he’ll be a lot better for the run,” Mathews said. 

Mathews also paid tribute to twins Daniel and Luke Peruzzi, while James Toscan slotted a game-high four goals in a dysfunctional forward line.

“I would have thought we had 60 per cent of the play in the second half, if not more,” Mathews said.

“Our forward line structure probably didn’t work that well and I’m probably partly to blame myself.

“We were just peppering the goals and there were a couple of missed kicks from blokes who could have finished it off.

“But it’s not the end of the world, and we now get to work on it for a little bit before Anzac Day.”

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