TANUNDA looked a shadow of its 2016 self as it was outplayed during its 37-point loss to South Gawler in Barossa, Light & Gawler A grade football on Saturday.
The first quarter was a very even, tough and unattractive affair.
However, the ruck duel between Magpie Angus Kurtze and Lions’ duo Chris James and Brodie Hudson broke even, and remained so throughout the game.
The opening term was hardly memorable, as South took a one-point lead into the first break.
However, Lions coach Chad O’Sullivan underlined the statistical dominance his side had after the first term.
“We’ve had 15 to five inside 50s, the work rate is good…but we’ve been too short in going forward, apply more defensive pressure and the results will come,” he said.
The Lions responded, booting 4.3 to 2.1 in the second term to go in at the long break with a 15-point advantage.
South looked much better during the second quarter, opening up the forward zone and delivering longer, and better, balls to gun forward Chad Connolly, who slotted all four of the Lions’ majors for the term.
On the other hand, the Pies waited until late in the quarter to score a goal – the first coming from a dubious high free to Josh Trembath, and the other from a good snap by Leigh Westhoff.
The half-time margin was a direct result of South applying greater pressure and good tackling, resulting in Tanunda having little movement, or method, particularly going forward.
The third term was a reasonably even affair, with the Lions stretching their lead to 22 points at the final break.
Tanunda coach Craig Griffiths urged his charges on at three-quarter-time.
“There’s only three kicks in it…give it everything we’ve got,” he said.
However, the response didn’t come.
Two more goals to Connolly, and Paul Marschall, guaranteed the Lions’ victory, but the highlight of the term belonged to Tanunda, by way of Trembath’s handball give to Westhoff, who goaled on the run.
Lachlan Agars was also strong in defence for the Pies, while Connolly finished with a match-winning eight goals for South.
On this showing, it is hard to see Tanunda making the top four, while the Lions are looking good with six wins in third place.