DEAKIN University coach Trent Anderson faces the prospect of six weeks on the sidelines after fracturing a foot bone against Dennington.
Anderson broke the second metatarsal on his right foot in three places during the first quarter of the Sharks’ 34-point loss at D. C. Farran Oval.
The injury has all but ruled the second-year coach out of the Warrnambool and District representative side for its interleague clash in late May. Anderson said he initially cracked the bone when an opponent’s heel landed on his toe after a marking contest in the Sharks’ forward line.
He thought nothing of the incident but was forced from the field moments later when his foot “bent” as he attempted a spoil in defence.
The injury overshadowed an admirable effort from his players, who took it up to one of the flag favourites for three quarters before fading late. Dennington won the match 9.21 (75) to 6.5 (41) and is unbeaten after three rounds. Deakin University has a 1-2 record but faces a brutal next month.
“I was definitely satisfied. We went into the game after taking our eyes off the ball against East and taking some backward steps,” Anderson said.
“We went out there and played some tough football, that was our goal for the day. In my opinion, Dennington is going to be a grand final side.”
Anderson played up the efforts of full back Aiden Bourke, who kept Dogs spearhead Chris Keilar to two goals. “In our opinion he came out on top. It wasn’t just that, he ran off him a lot and picked up a lot of loose ball,” he said.
Assistant coach Matt Lenehan and Courtneay Hobbs were also among the Sharks’ best. Their six goals came from six goalkickers. Alex Pye kicked three goals for Dennington and was best-afield. Darcy Lewis, 100-gamer Jordan Greene and Peter Doukas were also solid contributors.
Dogs coach Ben Parkinson said the wayward goalkicking was one of several sources of frustration.
He said he was alarmed by the Dogs’ lack of intensity and inability to put the Sharks’ away. The margin was just two goals early in the last term.
“We need to pick up in a lot of areas, our urgency to start. I don’t know what’s going to happen when we play a better side,” Parkinson said. “We’ve got South Rovers next week and then we go into Merrivale. I don’t know if the boys are a little ahead of themselves.”
The sole positive for Dennington was that it managed to win comfortably despite producing its worst display of the season.
“To win by 34 points and play as poorly as we did is a positive we can take out of it,” Parkinson said.
“There was no stat we could say was anywhere near our benchmark. It’s been a bit of a theme the last three weeks. Today was diabolical really.”