Tigers suffer first defeat

Jay Dahlhaus has a shot on goal. (Belinda Vitacca Photography)

Tara Murray

Werribee’s winning start to the Victorian Football League season came to an end on Saturday in an absolute thriller against the GWS Giants.

Having played some solid football in the first three rounds, the Tigers had their biggest test of the season so far against the Giants.

Not much separated the two teams all day, with the Tigers in front by two points at the first two breaks and the Giants in front by four points at the final change.

The match went down to the dying minutes with the Giants kicking two goals after the 28 minute mark of the final quarter to sneak home with a 16.10 (106)-14.14 (98).

Werribee coach Jimmy Allan said they were beaten by one of the best teams in the competition.

“It didn’t quite go our way in the end, it was disappointing not to get over the line,” he said.

“We played pretty well and did a lot of the right things. We had chances, but a reasonably good side pipped us at the post.”

Allan said they wanted to face these sorts of teams early in the season to see where the side is at.

He said they showed that they could match it with one of the stronger sides in the competition.

“We did enough to win,” he said. “We didn’t take our chances and we got beaten in areas that we’ve been pretty good in early in the season.

“There’s things to work on. We led at the 28 minute mark of the final quarter and kicked 2.6 in the final quarter and had 18 more insides 50.

“We weren’t able to kick one or two more goals to put them under real scoreboard pressure.”

Nick Hayes kicked three goals for the Tigers and was having a real influence early in the game before a heavy collision left him and Izaac Hughes both injured.

Hayes was taken to hospital and has since been released.

“It was one of the most courageous acts I’ve seen,” Allan said. “We missed his influence.

‘He want back with the flight and Izaac was going the other way and they cannoned into each other.

“It was a bit scary and both stayed down for a while. Nick is up and about in and in good spirits and hopefully Izaac is doing the same.

“Nick is at home and as normal, his main concern was how did we perform?”

Joining Hayes on the side lines will be skipper Nick Coughlan who did a hamstring late in the game.

Allan said Coughlan would miss a couple of weeks.

Jack Henderson, Kye Declase and Dom Brew all had plenty of the ball on Saturday, with 24 possessions each.

Allan said Brew was outstanding as usual.

The coach said he was also impressed with small forwards Jay Dahlhaus, Harry Grintell, Jack Riding and Angus Hicks who were challenged during the week and really stood up.

Werribee doesn’t have long to recover with its next match on Anzac Day against Williamstown.

Similar to the Tigers, Williamstown lost its first match of the season on Saturday.

Allan said they would change things up this week with the short break.

“We’ll do an extra recovery session tonight [Monday], “ he said. “After a loss the best thing that can happen is a short break.

“Tomorrow [Tuesday] we’ll do our normal Thursday session and have tea afterwards.”

Allan said the Seagulls are probably their fiercest rivals and the players can’t wait to face them on the big occasion of Anzac Day.

“The boys are excited for the privilege of playing on Anzac Day,” he said. “We won’t draw on it too much, as football and going to war are different.

“Being committed and being united are things that we hold clear at our footy club and we might tough on that.”

The match will be at 1.05pm on Thursday at DSV Stadium.