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Harry Taylor leaves Blues at sixes and sevens as Brigades smash Royal challengers

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Flynn Dillon won the ruck battle with Ryan Le Tessier.
Camera IconFlynn Dillon won the ruck battle with Ryan Le Tessier. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

The top teams in the GNFL laid down their markers on the weekend as the Rams, Rovers and Hawks all recorded big wins on Saturday.

Out at Railways, Harry Taylor led the way for the Rams with six goals as they posted a big 17.11 (113) to 8.6 (54) victory to keep themselves top of the ladder.

The Blues were coming off a big loss last round to the Hawks and were hoping to bounce back to keep themselves in contention for the top two.

However, they put themselves on the backfoot early, giving away a free kick and 50m penalty to Taylor who opened his account from the goal square.

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Flynn Dillon was winning the ruck battle for Rams out of the centre bounce to get the ball up forward where Taylor was again on hand to soccer through from close range out the back of the pack.

A strong mark at the right forward pocket and a delightful check-side snap gave Taylor his third as the Blues looked in all sorts.

The Blues were given a way into the match as Beau Simpson gave away a free and 50m to Jesse Adamini to get the Blues on the board.

But the Rams answered with Jack McQuie launching a bomb from 50m out before Taylor showed he’s still got some pace in his legs by running down Elliot Delaney and kick his fourth for the quarter.

Captain Admaini once again stood tall, stealing the ball at half-forward and breaking through a couple of tackles to keep the Blues in contention.

Taylor once again responded with a strong mark as the Blues couldn’t find a match-up for him as he kicked his fifth for the quarter.

A late free kick to Adamini who passed off to Dion Anthony ensured the Blues were just about hanging on, trailing 39-21 at quarter time.

Jesse Moore moved to Taylor in the second quarter and while he managed to stop the goals, it couldn’t lesson Taylor’s impact on the match.

A quick handball under pressure found Trent Simpson out the back to set him up for his first.

There was plenty of feeling out on the ground with minor scuffles breaking out throughout the day and it was one of these that set up Deon Drage’s first from a 50m penalty before Adamini had his third after some excellent run and carry by the Blues broke through the Rams midfield.

However, that was the only time in the game the Blues managed multiple goals in a row as the Rams were just too classy for the Blues.

Dillon was dominant as a ruck rover while Kingsley Smith was big through the midfield and half forward finishing with three goals while Simpson would finish with four.

But Taylor led the way with six and his marshalling of the forward ran the Blues’ defence ragged as another big loss saw them drop to fourth on the ladder.

The only sour note was Kayle Cripps who was sent off after a jumper punch against Delaney and may find himself on the sidelines for a couple of weeks.

Out at Chaman Valley, the Royals’ finals hopes were dealt another blow as five goals to Jamie Ryder led the Hawks to a 15.12 (102) to 6.11 (47) win.

Like many games against the top sides this year the Royals were competitive early, with Tristan Jacques continuing his good form in the ruck and Gerard McKenna leading the way out the middle.

Jaye Colegate, Jay O’Brien and Brett Robinson all hit the scoreboard, trailing by only three points at quarter time and 13 by the half.

But the Hawks exploded in the third kicking 5.5 to 1.2 to take total control of the game.

Henry Perham continued to be a rock down back and as the Ryder goals combined for seven goals between them with Jamie stealing the spotlight with five.

There was no way back for the Royals as the Hawks kicked another three goals to pass the 100-point mark for the fourth game in a row.

At Greenough, the Rovers won the Jamie Campbell Memorial clash 22.19 (151) to 3.2 (20).

Towns were kept scoreless in the first quarter as Rovers kicked an inaccurate 4.9 before their forwards had a field day with captain Farren Parfitt finishing with five and Joshua Simpson four, while Stuart Egan kicked his first in Demons colours with three majors.

Thomas Denton was named best on ground for his dominance across the midfield.

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