EVEN the great Jason Akermanis couldn’t lift a disappointing Coolangatta Blues to victory when he “guested” in the midfield against Palm Beach-Currumbin in their AFLQ local derby at Len Peak Oval on Saturday.
The Coolangatta camp had the blues at game’s end; they were on the receiving end of a 106-point shellacking, losing 24.18 (162) to 8.8 (56).
Akermanis was as smooth as peanut butter and everything he did, he did with finesse and skill.
The former Brownlow medallist gave value for money for the Blues; he was one of the best players on the paddock, attracted a big crowd to the match and from all reports, was “sensational” as guest speaker at the post-match function.
Despite his urgings and that of frustrated coach Neil Mackay, the rest of the Blues just couldn’t go the pace with their rivals, particularly in a woeful final 15 minutes when Palm Beach piled on 10 goals.
Mackay was a shattered and very disappointed man when the siren sounded.
“A few of them just threw in the towel towards the end and looked to have obviously lost all self-belief in their ability to even attempt to try and match it with their rivals,” Mackay.
“There’ll be changes made next week let there be no doubt about that.”
Three players certain to retain their berths are former rugby league player Blake Ebsworth, midfielder Jake Byrush and half full forward Tom Thurgood.
“Tom contested very well in the air and more than matched those (players) put on him while Jake was very competitive in all aspects,” Mackay said.
But Mackay reserved his greatest wrap for Ebsworth who was given the daunting task of trying to contain Palmie’s full forward David Round, son of former Brownlow medallist, the legendary Barry Round.
“Round has been in tremendous form and has kicked a huge amount of goals this season yet young Blake restricted him to just one goal and just one solitary behind ... I was really proud of how he handled the big fella,” Mackay said.
The Blues impressed in the first quarter and took a 5.2 (32) to 2.4 (16) lead into the huddle but the visitors dominated the second quarter, kicking seven goals to just two behinds to virtually wrap up the game.
The teams swapped goals in the third quarter but in the final stanza the Blues hoisted the white flag.
Both sides struggled to trouble the scoreboard operator for the first part of the quarter but with 15 minutes to go, the Blues may as well have been cardboard cut-outs as Palmie piled on goal after goal.
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