Nirranda again prove worthy of premiership favourite tag

Breaking free: Nirranda's William Paulin finds space as he runs clear of several Dennington opponents. Picture: Christine Ansorge.
Breaking free: Nirranda's William Paulin finds space as he runs clear of several Dennington opponents. Picture: Christine Ansorge.

If opposition teams thought Nirranda could not get any stronger, they better think again.

The Blues have been the premiership favourite for months, and on Saturday they again proved why by thrashing Dennington 17.21 (123) to 2.4 (16).

Though it was not just the one-sided scoreline that had co-coach Shane Quick excited.

"We have a strong on-ball group with a lot of really good first graders who were able to get first use,” he said.

"Our midfield has really gelled well together and is a tight unit that has developed that understanding, which is so important.

"So when you win clearances it pretty well sets you up.

“And if you do that you get the other side on the back foot and gain ascendancy which contributed to our good scoring.”

The Blues took that ascendancy in the opening term after booting six goals and keeping Dennington goalless.

Nirranda continued to dominate each quarter before slotting through eight goals in the third term to blow the Dogs out of the water.

Quick admitted his side had the wind in both quarters that they piled on the goals.

But added he was equally impressed when kicking into the wind.

“The most pleasing thing was that all our hard work was done into the breeze,” he said.

“We were just smarter in the conditions and we ran the ball not just play the kick and mark type style.

"But we played four pretty good quarters of consistency.

"And as coaches we are always after four-quarter efforts and doing what we are about and what we stride for.

"But Dennington is a proud club and we played them at their home, and I think home clubs have some sort of advantage, and in those conditions it was very very tough.”

Quick might have praised his entire playing group, but there was one main standout.

For the second consecutive week John Paulin was named best on ground for the Blues after causing plenty of headaches for the Dogs.

Star forward Gary Robinson also continued his form in front of goals booting another six majors.

The weekend’s bag saw him become the league’s leading goal-kicker with 53 goals for the season.

At the other end of the ground, and after missing several weeks of football, Justin Wallace made a promising return for Dennington kicking two goals.

Our midfield has really gelled well together and is a tight unit that has developed that understanding of each other, which is so important.

Shane Quick