Tigers blitz Demons with shock and awe in TSL season opener
ADAM SMITH Mercury
THE Tigers might be the youngest outfit in the TSL but it was Hobart City left shell-shocked in the opening round of the season.
The Tigers used a first quarter blitz against the Demons at North Hobart as the catalyst for their biggest victory of 54 points, 15.12 (102) to 7.6 (46).
It took just 20 seconds for Jack Bilson to put the visitors on the board and before the home side knew what had hit it, the Tigers were 18 points up.
Josh Halton then booted the last three goals of the term to give the Tigers a 31-point buffer at the first change and from there the Demons simply could not claw their way back.
Halton finished with 5.3 and could be the biggest off-season addition to the side, finally giving the midfield a key target when it swarms forward.
Bilson played the perfect hit-up half-forward role and finished with 2.2, Luke Graham chimed in with three goals while Brandon Batchelor was also dangerous as a smaller target with 2.1.
Demons playing coach Kane Richter admitted his side was stunned from the early onslaught.
“We were a little bit shell-shocked. They came out and spread really well and were first into the footy,” Richter said.
“They intimidated us. We are an older group but they intimidated us and I think it set the scene for the day and our boys just didn’t embrace what happened.”
Slow start aside, the Demons have a mountain of work to do on their skill execution after butchering the ball time and time again – including at least two kick-outs from full back which went directly out on the full.
The Tigers had their share of turnovers as well but were more polished when it mattered, and have clearly benefited from a pre-season under former Australian bowling coach and personal trainer Ali de Winter.
“We had a game plan today and I think we started off really well, set the intensity from the start,” coach Adam Henley said.
“There is still a lot to work on, the intent was the good thing though, we tried to play the style we want to.”