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Click on 2009 season to return

Round 1 - Saturday April 4, 2009
Riverina Football Netball League
Venue: Maher Oval 2.10pm
Umpires: Bob Neighbour, Anthony Lyons and Greg Walsh (RUA)
North Wagga ...... 0.0 .. 1.2 .. 1.3 .. 5.6 (36) 
Griffith.................. 4.6 .. 5.8 .. 9.13 .. 10.15 (75)

GRIFFITH: Royce Johns*, James Smith, Andew Cappello; Myles Bunn, Matthew Noonan*, Rodney Duncan; Jonathon Gastin, Michael Johns, Matthew Kenny; David Pasin, Craig Lugton, James Nancarrow*; Rodney Simpkin, Michael Harris, Aaron Cocks*; Shaun Curran, Jeff Mickan, Brett Owen; Ben Ford, Jack Tyrell, Blair Alban
North Wagga: M Foster 3, G Noye, Mark Ward 
Griffith: A Cocks 4, M Johns 2, S Curran, M Harris, B Owen, J Nancarrow 
North Wagga: M Foster, Mark Ward, S Barnes, M Fury, N Aberline, Mitch Ward, J Joy 
Griffith: R Simpkin, M Johns, B Owen, S Curran, J Smith, A Cappello, A Cocks 
SENIOR DEBUT: Aaron Cocks, Royce Johns, Matthew Noonan, James Nancarrow

A summary of match report, with thanks
The Griffith Swans have shrugged off tough talk from North Wagga Saints to record a massive victory as a great kick-off to the 2009 RFL season. For weeks North Wagga had been talking up their chances of taking out the Swans in the first game of the year, but their dismal first three-quarters of the game allowed Griffith to walk all over them. Despite being on home turf for North Wagga, the Swans kept the Saints scoreless for the first quarter, while notching up an impressive 30 points for themselves.

And while the Saints managed to get on the scoreboard in the second quarter, they couldn't catch up to Griffith, who led 38 to 8 at half-time. The Swans had their best quarter after half-time, widening the gap to 9.15 (69) to 1.3 (9), while only conceding a single point, but the Saints finally hit their stride in the final quarter, with four goals, still woefully short of the Swans' final tally.
It was a solid, but not overwhelming start to the season, according to Swans coach Gerard Toscan. "We played pretty good footy, but a couple of disposal errors and missed goals cost us a good few points," he said. "We did miss a lot of targets but that's mostly opening game nerves." While most aspects of the Swans game were in form, Toscan said there were some aspects that were lacking.

"But the last kick inside the 50 or the last shot at goals let us down. It was like they were kicking Coke cans at times. "It's a mental thing rather than a skill thing, which means it will be easy to fix up." 
The Swans struggled last year when playing away from playing away games, but Toscan said Saturday's victory at Maher Oval in Wagga was a positive sign. "We won, and we won in Wagga, which we always struggle to do," he said. "We had some really good runs, rebound footy, inside runners picking up handballs and things like that.
There was plenty of positive's signs for Griffith, with Aaron Cocks the shining light up forward, booting four goals. Cocks could have bagged a big haul of goals if it was not for inaccurate kicking but indicated he would be a headache for opposition teams throughout the year.

Brett Owen worked hard through the midfield all day, as did Michael Johns, while Matt Noonan proved he would be a valuable acquisition for Griffith across half-back. For North Wagga, recruit Mick Foster was excellent at centre half-forward, while Mark Ward and Steve Barnes worked tirelessly through the midfield.

The game was played in front of one of the smallest RFL crowds in recent years, while in further disappointing news Griffith forfeited the under 17s. 
With a bye next week for Easter, Toscan is confident the Swans can be prepared for the home game the week after against defending premiers Ganmain-GGM. "They are fair dinkum, so if you want to beat them, you have to play well," he said.

"We knocked them off last year in the corresponding home game, so we know we can beat them if we are on our game. "We won by out-tackling them, and we are going to work hard on our tackling in the next few weeks and concentrate on our kicking skills.

(By Nick Pearson - The Area News, Monday April 6, 2009).


OTHER MATCHES - SAT: Coolamon 18.10 (116) def Narrandera 5.6 (36), Eastern Hawks 11.5 (71) def by Wagga 16.18 (114), Ganmain-GGM 14.14 (98) def Mangoplah-CUE 9.4 (58), Leeton-Whitton 5.4 (34) def by Turvey Park 4.22 (46). 

Reserves: Griffith 11.8 (74) def North Wagga 7.7 (49)
Goals: J Harris 3, A Huskins, G Taylor, M Butcher, C Harrison, P Crawford, C Moore, H Shaw, L Catanzariti
Best players: J Harris, S Spiers, B Woolner, C Moore, R Best, M Tyndall 
Under 17: North Wagga d Griffith on forfeit

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