CHANGE OF CODES: Former Grafton netball star Tahlia Goodwin (centre) has swapped codes and is now playing Aussie rules with the Port Macquarie Magpies.
CHANGE OF CODES: Former Grafton netball star Tahlia Goodwin (centre) has swapped codes and is now playing Aussie rules with the Port Macquarie Magpies. Tim Howard

Local netballer hops codes to AFL

AUSSIE RULES: One of the tormentors of the Northern Beaches Grafton Tigers/women's team, which lost 88-nil at Port Macquarie at the weekend was a home-grown product.

Former NSW age netball representative Tahlia Goodwin grew up in Grafton and has represented the Jacaranda City in her first sport, netball.

On Saturday, playing only her second game of AFL, she kicked two goals for the Port Macquarie Magpies against the Tigers, including the first for the game.

As a teen Goodwin looked destined for a big future in netball until she ruptured an ACL while playing for NSW in the national under-19 championships in Darwin in 2013.

Her recovery from a knee reconstruction took longer than expected and began to conflict with her university studies.

Although she continued to play netball for Sydney University, she found she no longer had the drive to train and compete at the elite level.

Now in her second year of studies for a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the Port Macquarie campus of Charles Sturt University, Goodwin decided to try Aussie rules.

She said she is enjoying playing Aussie rules more than netball.

"It's a lot more fun because there's a lot less pressure on me,” she said.

"I hardly know anything about the game, so I'm not really sure what I'm doing out there.

"But a lot of the players are the same as me and everyone is so supportive.”

Goodwin played her first game for the Magpies at Sawtell, switching between the ruck and midfield, which she found challenging.

On Saturday the coach, Mel Hunt, moved her to full forward, where her aerial skills stood out.

"I pretty much stay in the goal square and mark the ball when it comes in,” she said.

"I kicked two goals and two behinds on Saturday, which I'm pretty happy about considering it's just my second game.”

Hunt pulled off some magic at training during the week after the Magpies were disappointing in front of goal the week before at Sawtell.

The Northern Beaches/Grafton outfit were outstanding in their debut performance in round 1, but learnt that travelling and backing up isn't easy.

This is an important lesson and one that will stand the club in good stead moving forward as they look to record their first competitive win.

The Magpies' Cambridge McCormick continued the dominant form that saw her win the 2018 League Best & Fairest medal with a five-goal performance.

Anishah Burnes, Kate Winterbottom, as well as Goodwin each kicked two goals in a dominant performance that marks the Magpies as the team to beat in 2019.

Port Macquarie Magpies 13.10 (88) defeated Northern Beaches/Grafton 0.0 (0)

First grade men

IT WAS not a good weekend for the Tigers with the senior men copping a hiding in first grade.

Port had put the game to bed by half time, holding a 102 point lead.

Whereas in the first round they let their intensity slip in the second half there was to be no reprieve for the hapless Tigers as the Magpies piled on another 22 goals after the long break.

Most pleasing for coach Tom Marmo was the Magpies' accuracy in front of goal which has been a problem in recent seasons. Jesse Schmidt had a field day, kicking 11 goals to open a lead on the goal kicking chart, while Marmo himself added six. In all the Magpies had 12 individual goal kickers which shows the options available to them on the way to goal.

Grafton had struggled even before the first bounce, having made the long trip south light on numbers.

On a tough day, the effort of those that did travel couldn't be faulted as they kicked two of their three goals for the match in the final quarter when they had every right to have clocked off.

Port Macquarie Magpies 39.16 (250) defeated Grafton Tigers 3.2 (20)

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