By Lance Jenkinson
If you told first game Manor Lakes playing coach Dion Lawson that his side would kick 21 goals on Western Region Football League division 2 opening day, he would have scampered around looking for the words to his new club’s theme song and started warming up his vocal chords.
The Storm did kick 21 goals, however it was part of an incredible 46-goal game with North Footscray, which saw the Devils kick a whopping 25 goals in a 28-point win at Hansen Reserve on Saturday.
While the loss hurt and there were glaring deficiencies from a defensive standpoint, Lawson was fairly positive about what Manor Lakes delivered in its first game of the season.
“There’s some big positives to come out of it,” Lawson said. “To kick 21 goals in a game of footy is very good, especially at this level.
“Unfortunately it was a bit of a shoot out and it went their way in the end.”
Nathan Montague produced a fine captain’s game in the centre for Manor Lakes.
Youngster Blake Jago was influential when the Storm made a late charge in the fourth quarter.
Ty Priest spearheaded the Storm with seven goals, while Lawson and Jackson Lesko kicked four apiece.
It was the one-per centers that let Manor Lakes down.
“In the first quarter alone, they would’ve kicked four or five goals from our direct turnovers,” Lawson said.
The WRFL rolled out the new 6-6-6 rule that has been used in the AFL this season. Considering no other teams in division 2 cracked triple figures, it now has to gauge if the new rule had a role to play.
“I’m not sure why it [the high scoring] happened and I’m not sure why that was the scoring end,” Lawson said. “There was a little bit of a breeze, but it wasn’t a massive breeze.”
Even though it was only one game, Lawson got a fair indication of what direction he wants to take Manor Lakes in the coming weeks.
He is adamant there will be some positional changes implemented in time for the huge local derby against Wyndhamvale at Howqua Reserve this Saturday.
“There’s some things we learned from today and there were a few positions that people got found out in,” Lawson said.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board and say this is how we want to play, this is how we want to change a few things and if you do it, you do it or if you don’t, you won’t be in the team.”
It is a massive round two game for both Manor Lakes and Wyndhamvale.
The Storm will be striving for their first win of the campaign, while the Falcons will want to keep their muscles flexed after upsetting Yarraville-Seddon in a 13-point win on Saturday. Aside from what it means for both sides in terms of the ladder, it will also be a big community event.
“It’s a big game for the football clubs and the community as well,” Lawson said.
“Having two teams close by each other and there’s a bit of hype around both teams, we’re hoping for a good turnout from the community.
“I would assume it will be pretty hotly contested and hopefully a good clean footy game and I think it will go some way to dictating where both teams stand.
“If we’re 0-2, it would put a dampener on the start of our season, but if we can knock them off, it shows we’re up and about and where we should be.”
Meanwhile, Point Cook Centrals made a triumphant start to life in division 2, beating West Footscray by 39 points.
In division 3, Glen Orden had a thumping 88-point win over Wyndham Suns.
Tarneit got off to a flying start with a 79-point win over Braybrook.
Laverton beat North Sunshine by 204 points.
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