Stand-in coach happy
BROTHERS Bulldogs under-17 coach Brad Grogan will happily hand back the senior reins when doyen Rob McGill returns from an overseas holiday despite guiding the side to win their Wide Bay season opener.
Grogan was full of praise for their youthful team after securing a 13.5 (83) to 6.17 (53) victory over Bay Power.
"It was good to be able to win - Bay Power has always given us a very hard run, and they didn't play reserve grade, so they had 22 fresh players and they gave themselves a good chance against us in A-grade," Grogan said.
"We had a lot of our regular A-graders and it was a very good win to start the season."
Grogan said imposing centre-man and Brisbane Lions Academy member Riley Blundell, a former Brisbane Broncos rugby league scholarship holder who gave that game away this year, was best on ground.
"Griffin Webb also had a good game on the ball and loose in defence in his first game back after a few years, the little general Dale Harvey controlled the centre and through the corridor, and Jason Whiting, up from reserve grade, kicked four goals in his first senior game for years," he said.
"Also Jamieson Webb smashed his finger but got it strapped and continued to play at half-forward flank before going to hospital afterwards.
"And (former Bundaberg Spirit State League soccer player) Tom Kimber adapted to a change of sport and did pretty well in the back pocket.
"Jefferson Baulch also deserves a mention, along with Blake Hornbrook, who had his engagement party afterwards, Braden Krebs did a good job as a target up front in forward line, and U-17 senior first gamers Aidan Dempsey, Mitchell Badrick and Matthew Russell all stepped up."
Grogan said even the Power coach had commented on how the young Dogs' pace and skill had helped the hosts to dominate.
"For me, it is easy to do it for one week and I'll stick to the 17s," he said.
"But from the team perspective, the competition looks a lot more even, given the number of players Across The Waves have lost.
"Hervey Bay Bombers, on paper, appear to be the team to beat but we won't know until the completion of the full first round."
Brothers Bulldogs 4.0, 7.2, 12.4, 13.5 (83) d Bay Power 2.5, 2.9, 3.11, 6.17 (53)
Bulldogs 3.7, 5.11, 9.15, 10.19 (79) d Power 1.1, 3.1, 3.4, 5.6 (36)
Bay Power 2.0, 2.0, 4.0, 5.3 (33) d Bulldogs 0.0, 1.0, 3.0, 3.1 (19)