Coast suffers a perfect Storm
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
TO paraphrase Foghorn Leghorn, the underdogs may have kept cuttin' but at no stage were the champs bleedin'.
The local Coast and Valley All-Stars team certainly didn't disgrace themselves on Thursday night when they took on Melbourne Storm's reserve grade squad but it was simply a matter of being out-gunned by a superior opponent.
Before the rain set in, the All Stars completed 22 of 28 sets but they just couldn't convert the impressive ball control into strong field position or points.
Time and time again when assessing their options the Group 2 representatives found themselves rushed by a supremely fit opponent that raced off their defensive line to continually create pressure and take vital time and space away from a team that tried, but eventually in vain.
Even though he had just led his team into a 66-4 mauling, captain-coach Craig Wallace was still proud of his team's performance against an outfit that should've treated them like a Tiger plays with tiny prey.
"They're fit, they're young, they're fast, they're very enthusiastic and they've got a lot to play for," he said.
"That was really our first hit-out together, we didn't even really get a full training session together but the boys really stepped up, it was very pleasing, it was a great effort.
"The thing is if they hadn't put a score on us then they shouldn't have been wearing the jumper really."
The highlight for the local team was the form of Sawtell's teenage fullback Kevin Gordon who showed what a summer in the Titans development program has done for him.
Any attacking raid that the All-Stars made on the opposition line involved the speedster including the opening try of the match down the left side after wrapping around his captain-coach to give the locals a surprising 4-0 lead.
From then on it was pretty much one-way traffic as halfback Liam Foran controlled the tempo and the traffic to set up the play at will which saw former Redbend College student Joel Thompson finish the night with a hat-trick.