Versatile Tyler lifts Eagles to huge victory in the heat
WITH a massive Anzac weekend clash against the competition favourites next, Ipswich Eagles head coach Kym Mansell wanted a promising start to the new season.
He got that and more in Ipswich's opening QFA Division 2 North encounter for 2021.
Captain Tyler Hall led the way with the full forward booting eight goals in Ipswich's 21.17-143 to 9.3-57 away victory over Gympie.
After performing a vital but unsettled team role playing in multiple positions last season, Hall was able to settle up front and help the Eagles roll on in the hot conditions.
"Tyler was outstanding,'' Mansell said.
"He's always in good nick.
"The problem we had with him last year is we played him all over the place because he was trying to plug holes. He can play anywhere you put him.''
With Ipswich's added depth this year, Hall can return to a full forward role at this stage of the season.
With great three-goal support from midfield workers Matthew Boston and last year's most consistent performer Hayden Carthew-Zimmer, the Eagles raced to a 108-55 advantage by three-quarter time.
Mansell was encouraged by his team's work ethic and accuracy.
"It was a really hard game,'' Mansell said.
"Halfway through the third quarter, we had no bench. The temperature, it was bloody hot up there.
"Once we crunched the numbers after the game, I was really happy.''
That included booting 21 six-pointers from 39 scoring shots and holding Gympie to less than 60 points.
It was the senior team's biggest winning margin for some time.
Newcomers Oliver Wetzlar, from Sydney, and ruckman Thomas Leoni made impressive debuts for the Eagles.
Wetzlar had a huge impact until he suffered a rib injury in the third quarter.
Ipswich Senior team regular Justin Cummings was also one of the best playing in the backline.
"That's something new for him. He has embraced it and he understands that is his role at the moment,'' Mansell said.
"He's had a great pre-season as well. He absolutely killed it yesterday.''
Apart from Wetzlar, the head coach was monitoring injuries to Matt Boston (quad) and Daniel Horton (ankle).
The Ipswich Eagles Reserves also enjoyed their biggest win in a number of years, crushing the home side 33.18-216 to 1.0-6.
That has set up a huge day for the Ipswich club on April 24 after next weekend's bye.
The Eagles are hosting Moorooka in both grades when the Ipswich women also kick off their new season at Limestone Park that afternoon.
The Eagles will play in specially made jerseys to pay their respects honouring Australian servicemen and women.
"That's a really good start going into the next game,'' Mansell said, excited about the next match and what it represents.
"Moorooka are the favourites but we are pretty confident that we can beat them.
"Look at the results yesterday, I don't think the competition is going to pan out like a lot of people think it is going to pan out.''
Other winning sides included Jindalee (over Park Ridge) and Kenmore beating regular finalists Redcliffe.