Tigers triumph in Sproxton’s milestone
Railways lifted in Haydn Sproxton’s 150th league game, causing an early season upset after they defeated a wounded Royals outfit by 28 points in warm conditions at Tigerland to close round 3 on Sunday.
The Tigers came to play against their cross-town rivals, leading at every change and kicking six goals to one in a terrific third term as they pushed the margin beyond 50 points.
The Lions had been all the rage after their first two performances, with dominant victories over Mt Barker and Albany but they lost player-coach Andrew Ruck and Brody Ogle in the warm-up and were without a host of other first-choice players, including Jordan Heil, Poch Amores and Jayson Ford.
The late omissions, with both suffering hip injuries, forced the visitors to bring two reserves players into the side on the back of already having played a game.
The Lions conceded nine scoring shots and should have been further behind at quarter-time if not for the wasteful Tigers in front of goal.
Despite hitting back with three goals in the second, the Tigers kicked three of their own and then put their rivals to the sword in the third as they booted six goals to open up a 52-point three-quarter-time buffer.
The Lions fought back to kick the only four goals of the last, but it was too little, too late as they suffered their first defeat of the season, 8.7 (55) to 11.17 (83).
Mitch Green was very influential in the midfield for the Tigers, while Logan Stubber’s (two goals) hot start to the season continued with another strong display.
The Tigers lost Joel Want to an ankle injury before half-time but they celebrated Sproxton’s major milestone with an upset win.
“Our intensity and attack at the footy was really consistent,” Tigers coach Troy Leo said.
“We had five colts again today and our leaders are getting better.
“But they have some quality missing so we are certainly not getting carried away.”
An ankle injury to star Steven Edwards is a concern for the Lions who were best served by Brayden Parker and Corey Ward while new big man Stephen Beal got better as the game wore on.
“We got smashed inside early and it was a good opportunity for some of our boys to see where they are at,” Ruck said.
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