Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes continue undefeated start with 18-point win over Leeton-Whitton

LEETON-WHITTON coach Jade Hodge believes there is no cause for concern after first grade lost its second consecutive match on the weekend. 

Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes claimed an 18-point victory over the Crows on Saturday, but Hodge remained positive following the 15.4 (94) to 11.10 (76) loss.

MCUE led throughout the day but responded when challenged by the Crows a couple of times in the second half.

The Goannas led by 20 points at half-time but Leeton-Whitton closed within two points midway through the third term, and again got within eight, early in the final quarter.

But MCUE responded in style and had too much run around the ground for the experienced Crows.

Hodge said the Crows needed to better work on their skills on the middle, as well as their goal kicking. 

“Our set shots on the weekend weren’t too bad, but it was those ones on the run that probably hurt us a bit,” he said. 

“I think it was our turnovers that really cost us the game. 

“A lot of our errors and turnovers allowed them to score.”

Toby Conroy, Bryce O’Garey and Ben Curley had plenty of the footy for the Crows, while Daniel Muir and Hodge were dangerous in attack and kicked four goals each.

The umpires were heavily involved in the contest and paid a lot of free kicks and 50 metre penalties that frustrated both teams.

MCUE were privately seething with the umpiring and president David Griffin said it was of an unacceptable level for first grade football.

Hodge said he had rated the Goannas and the Demons, who Leeton-Whitton lost to a week ago, as the two best sides in the competition at the start of the year. 

“I still think that now and we’ve learned a lot ourselves after playing them,” he said. 

“Mango especially is a quality side and I’ve rated them and ‘Gullie from the start of the year. 

“I think we’ve got plenty to work on.”

The Crows, along with the rest of the Riverina Football League competition, will have the bye this weekend while the representative fixture is played. 

However, the Crows won’t be taking it easy in the interim. 

A light recovery and training session was held on Monday night, while Hodge expected to up the ante for the remainder of the week. 

“We’ll have two solid sessions on Tuesday and Thursday night and we’re going to train Saturday as well,” he said. 

“It will give us a good chance to work on where we need to improve and sort it out.”