NEW Tongala coach Jordan Souter was frankly honest in his summation of his team’s 109-point loss to reigning premier Nathalia in the opening round of the Murray Football League season last Saturday.
‘‘We weren’t in their class and I’ll be surprised if they don’t win the flag again,’’ is how Souter described Nathalia’s win before a big crowd at Nathalia.
‘‘They have six or seven players who would be bigger than our biggest player and they were just too strong and experienced for us,’’ said Souter.
But he still praised his youthful charges.
‘‘I thought they were fantastic particularly in the first quarter and until 10 minutes to go in the second term when Nathalia kicked six or seven unanswered goals. Although we were outclassed I was still happy how we kept trying for the rest of the game.’’
New faces in the Tongala line-up pleased Souter.
‘‘Hamish Cohen from Echuca United really held his own in the ruck and was our best player,’’ he said.
‘‘Matthew Robertson gave us a target up forward. He is in his early 30s and hasn’t played for two years but will be good for us.’’
Souter was also pleased with the work of mobile Kyabram reserves premiership player from last season Michael Pryde across half back and up forward in the final quarter.
‘‘He will only get better,’’ he said.
Another newcomer, Mitchell Trevaskis, worked hard in the midfield all day. Riley Bacon played his typical enthusiastic game while Ryley Cowley and Mark Watson also never shirked an issue.
The Blues will lose one of its co-captains Corey Nexhip when Tongala takes on Mulwala this Saturday at Tongala.
But tall forward and new recruit Nick Woods is likely to come into the side.
Souter expects another tough day at the office but is backing in his young charges to put in another competitive effort.
■Tongala reserves were also on the end of a heavy loss, going down by 119 points.
The Blues were never in it against superior opponents but Lachy Hipwell, Ryan Kay, Aaron Hatch and Tom Pryde stood up to be counted in the one-sided affair.
■It was a much better result for Tongala in the thirds clash with the classy young Blues dominating in a 16 goals win.
Brayden Nevett caused chaos in Nathalia’s defence with six goals and a best on ground performance while Betts Cohen, Curtis Walsh, Dylan Waasdorp, Sam Cipriani and Rhys Shay also stood out in the impressive win.
■The Under 14s also had a good win on the back of a stellar performance from gifted youngster Harley Reid.
Reid kicked all six Tongala goals in the 12 point win and capitalised on the efforts of Tristan Watson, Hudson Kellett, Kade Northausen, Zai Davies and Ryan Smith.