Calder Cannons experienced a day to forget on Saturday when they were comprehensively beaten by Western Jets in the TAC Cup.
From the outset the Jets were fierce at the ball and forcing turnovers.
The Cannons struggled to get the ball in their front half and when they did, they kicked it straight to the opposition.
With few inside 50s in the first quarter, the Cannons trailed 25-1 at the first break.
They had a better second quarter, kicking five goals, but still trailed by 20 points at the main break.
The Cannons kept with them in the second half, kicking three goals to the Jets four, but it wasn’t enough. Jets won 11.19 (85)-8.6 (54).
There was no hiding the disappointment of Cannons coach Andrew Johnston.
He knows that if the Jets had kicked straight, his side could have been beaten by 10 goals or more.
“The Western Jets deserve credit,” he said. “We knew they would come hard at us.
“We’ve probably had it over them the last 10 years, but the last two to three years they’ve got us a couple of times.
“When the opposition use the ball a bit better and put pressure on us and we turn the ball over, it’s hard to fight back.”
Johnston said there were two clear areas the Cannons needed to improve on.
“[Jets] work rate and willingness to help each other stood out,” he said.
“Our guys have to learn from that and understand it’s not an individual game – it’s a team game.
“The more you play together as a team and want to work hard for each other, the result will look after itself. You get what you deserve.”
Johnston said that while there weren’t many positives for the Cannons to take out of the game, the performances of Curtis Taylor and Jake Riccardi stood out. “Curtis Taylor was really good today – he’s certainly stepping up and doing some impressive stuff,” he said.
“Jake Riccardi, when he’s forward where we want to play him … his work rate to help teammates and win the ball himself has been very impressive.”
Mohammed Moustafa and Sam Graham kicked two goals each for the Cannons.
Adding to the Cannons woes, Rhylee West was forced to sit out the second half with an injury.
Johnston wasn’t sure of the exact nature of the injury or its severity, but West was clearly limping after the game.
The Cannons, who are 0-2 after a first-round loss to Eastern Ranges, face Oakleigh Chargers this week.