Eagles out-run Bulls

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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A six goal to one first half catapulted the Collie Eagles to a 59-point victory over the Harvey Bulls at the Collie Recreation Ground on Saturday.

The Bulls were goalless until the last minutes of the second quarter, as a dominant Eagles outfit showed plenty of run and carry on their way to a 14.11 (95) to 5.6 (36) win.

In blustery conditions, only the players with precision skills stood out and for the Eagles none were better than Travis Cleggett and Corey Griggs.

Cleggett played the spare man in defence role to perfection, taking plenty of intercept marks and kick starting the Eagles’ forward movements from half back.

Griggs was dominant in the centre, winning a number of clearances as well as using his run and carry to give his forwards first opportunity.

The Eagles were on their game from the first bounce and the forward line combination of Joel Houghton (four goals) and Blair Malatesta (five goals) proved too much at pivotal points of the game for the Bulls’ defence.

Houghton was locked in a thrilling battle with Bulls co-captain Darren Rumble, who worked tirelessly in defence and was only beaten on the odd occasion.

But the Bulls’ coaching “brains trust” could not find the right match-up for Malatesta, who was too quick and slick for their defence.

In the first quarter the Bulls had little option going forward, forcing Brett Lofthouse (two goals) to head to the goal square.

But too often the Bulls turned the ball over in the middle of the ground, with Brendon Jones and Rhys Anzellino often working hard for little result.

The Bulls came out after half-time and looked like they could drag themselves back into the game, but a six-goal to two last quarter squandered any hopes of a fightback and gave the Eagles a good start to the season.

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