Border Mail Round 12 – Review

After a shock defeat against Billabong Crows the previous week, the Tigers knew another loss would almost signal the end of their top-two aspirations.

With the stakes so high, the visitors produced their best performance of the season so far to storm to a 14.10 (94) to 6.10 (46) victory.

In a further bonus the Tigers’ percentage boosting win enabled them to leapfrog the Lions into second position.

After an even opening term, Osborne booted 12 goals to four with its defence outstanding against the third highest scoring side in the competition.

Veteran Hayden Gleeson was handed the unenviable task of curbing Adam Prior and restricted the Lions’ matchwinner to two goals.

Coach Matt Rava racked up plenty of touches in the midfield alongside Connor Galvin, Bill Alexander and Sam Rutland who all provided plenty of run and carry.

Key forward George Alexander provided a strong marking target and proved how vital he is to the Tigers’ structure after missing the previous week.

Rava said is was imperative for the Tigers to bounce back strongly after last weeks upset loss.

“We had our colours lowered last week against Billabong Crows who deserved the win,” Rava said.

“We believe that we didn’t turn up to play and paid the price.

“It raised a few questions if we were legitimate flag contenders but we were able to silence our critics today.

“We don’t boast a star-studded line-up and rely more on the evenness of our group to grind out wins.

“We have probably been struggling for form for the past month to be honest.

“But today was a big challenge and we were able to rise to the occasion.”

Culcairn was best served by Dane Hallinan, Jye Shields and Tim Hallinan as its eight match winning streak came to an end.

There is a general bye next week.

The Lions task of rebounding after the bye doesn’t come any tougher, facing flag favourites Brock-Burrum who has reeled off 10 consecutive wins.

Lions recruit Sam Schulz was an interested onlooker against Osborne and could make his highly anticipated return against the Saints.

Osborne host Henty.

Both sides were playing for survival but it was the Swampies who finished full of running after leading by 15-points at the final change.

The 18.8 (116) to 12.11 (83) victory leaves the Brookers’ finals aspirations hanging by a thread.

Adding further merit to the Swampies victory, they went into the clash without match-winners Jared Brennan (unavailable) and Daniel Cox (hamstring).

Offsetting the losses, midfielder Jared Farwell made his first appearance for the Swampies after crossing from Rutherglen before the clearance deadline.

Coach Joel Price was relieved to emerge with the four points.

“Holbrook were desperate to keep its season alive and really made us earn the win,” Price said.

“It was only that last-quarter that we really got on top of them.”