IT’S one thing to know how the Cobras play, or even how to beat them. But it’s another thing to actually be able to do it.
So far this season, it’s a task that sides have failed in 14 straight games.
Buln Buln – last year’s EDFL East premiers – were the latest side to experience first-hand just how brutal the Cora Lynn monster is, going down 10.14 (74) to 3.11 (29) in sticky conditions at Bunyip River Road on Saturday.
It took until Round 14 for the two premiers of last season to finally face off, and their clash could yet prove to be a precursor to another meeting between the two sides this season on 19 September – grand final day.
The Lyrebirds showed – even if only fleetingly on Saturday – that if they get the matchup on their terms, they can cause the Cobras some serious headaches. But that’s the problem – just how fleeting those moments were. Brent Eastwell’s men were kept to just three goals for the contest, and were goalless in the second half.
Mitch Nobelius, Trent Baker, James Davidson and Eastwell himself (after a rocky start on Cobras gun Ricky Clark) shone for Buln Buln; while Matt Gray’s battle with David Main in the ruck was the one-on-one matchup of the day. Gray was superb around the ground, but Main was stellar at the centre bounces in a head-to-head clash he’d been looking forward to all season.
For the Cobras, though, it’s what they didn’t show on Saturday that proved just as ominous for the competition as what they did produce. Nathan Gillis took a little while to warm into the game, but was simply devastating in the second half. And his brother, star forward Ryan and his partner inside 50 Nathan Langley were kept quiet by the likes of young Riley Steenholdt in an impressive defensive performance. They’ve been two of the competition’s form forwards all season, yet the only added a single goal combined on Saturday. And still, their side claimed a 45-point win. Sean Marchetti was sensational through the middle – particularly on the burst forward from stoppages – while the evergreen Clark again made it had to find an adequate superlative to describe just how good he is.
Sure, the Cobras can be beaten this season. But will it actually happen?
Click below to watch three videos from Saturday’s action – a glimpse into a Cobras pre-game warm-up; some of coach Travis Marsham’s three-quarter time address, and a big rendition of the club song – and pick up a copy of the Gazette first thing Wednesday morning for much more on the game, including a post-match assessment from Marsham.