Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 1:35 PM by Alex Paull

SWAN Districts have overrun a disappointing Peel, keeping them goalless in the last quarter to set up a commanding 41-point win at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday.

The Swans had plenty of opportunities to ice the game early, but inaccurate kicking and a committed effort from the Thunder meant the game was a tight contest for the best part of three quarters.

Scoring proved difficult in the first quarter, with the Swans only managing nine behinds to Peel’s 1.2, while the intense contest continued in the second quarter, with the scores locked at 22 each by half time.

While the scoreboard pointed to a dour struggle, the visitors had entered forward 50 an incredible 40 times to Peel’s 10, which pointed to both the resilience of the Peel defence and the midfield dominance of Swan Districts.

Peel coach Cam Shepherd admitted the game had been a “game of attrition”, and the players fell away in the last quarter, conceding five goals to none in the final term.

While the statistics pointed to a dominant Swans performance, Shepherd was disappointed with the Thunder’s inability to penetrate the forward 50, with only 34 entries for the game.

“We need to improve on the lack of inside 50s, we recognise that we turn the ball over in our mids to defensive 50, which gives the opposition opportunity,” Shepherd said.

“We have to rectify that, and improve in that area, as well as winning the midfield battle in order to give our forwards opportunity, as their midfield got away from us in the second half.”

Shepherd said improvement in efficiency when counter attacking was imperative ahead of this weekend’s crunch game against Perth.

“In any game, you set yourself standards of where you want to be, and we fell short in that area, so 34 (inside 50s) isn’t going to cut the mustard, so our goal is getting that number up to 50 in order to give our tall marking targets the best chance,” he said.

With talented big men such as Matthew Taberner, who booted two goals, Kepler Bradley and Michael Apeness, Shepherd said efficiency moving forward could unlock the key to the side’s immediate success.


“The onus goes collectively on our midfield and half-back groups to get the ball swiftly enough into our forward line, and we’ve taken a bit a bit of a backward step on the weekend but we will address those issues.”

The game also marked the debut of local teenager Rhys Anzellino, who showed some promising signs with 11 touches.

Anzellino, who hails from Waroona, captained Peel’s Colts side last year and Shepherd said Anzellino’s promotion to the league side was evident of the club’s promise to reward strong performances.

“It’s really good to give young blokes in our district the opportunity, and one of the knocks on the affiliation with Fremantle was that none of the young local talent would get an opportunity, but there will always be opportunities for those who work really hard and put in the effort,” he said.

Peel will host Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday in what is shaping to be another great contest.