Djarrak Football Club was made to work hard to earn a deserved victory against a plucky Nhulunbuy Baywara Football Club at Yirrkala in testing conditions on Saturday through a 11.7 73 to 6.7.43 winning scoreline. The first half was a torrid affair with extremely hot conditions ensuring a active rotation policy. A weather change to squally showers in the second half changed the dynamics of the game and the open running spectacle was replaced by heavy collisions around the contest and plenty of stoppages.
The first round game identified a number of positives for the Yirrkala based side with a highlight being the chase and tackle pressure applied throughout but best exemplified by Billy Wanambi. The Year 12 Yirrkala School Clontarf Academy member was active across all four quarters and won two tackle turnovers in a willing display. Lee Mununggurr showed touches of class but will be working on some of his decision making moving forward to further complete his game style. Debutant Paul Kyle was all class in his first game of Australian Football and the Rugby League convert provided a presence down back with his aggressive and confrontational tackling and surprising accuracy by foot.
Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was pleased with his teams effort. He said "We knew it was going to be a willing contest. It was bloody hard for both sides in the extreme heat before halftime. The change in weather was probably a blessing for us as we need a lot of work around our stoppage structures. He added "We are asking guys to play how they probably haven't been used to with slightly more structure and when we get our starting points right we look dangerous, yet when we start too deep or out of position we look pretty average at times. Its a process and we will get there. We are looking to add some discipline to our obvious talent".
The Brown and Gold Army will travel to Nhulunbuy to take on Nhulunbuy Saints Football Club at Hindle Oval from 4pm next Saturday 29 April.
BEST ON GROUND: 5 Billy Wanambi, 4 Lee Mununggurr, 3 Paul Kyle, 2 Djayminy Marika, 1Lenny Maymuru