Magpies can't weather the Storm

WESTERN Storm coach Mitch Hills came to the Devonport Oval expecting a tough match against the emerging young Magpies.

Western Storm coach Mitch Hills.

Western Storm coach Mitch Hills.

``We knew they would come at us hard with Brent Guerra in the team and their Tassie Mariners coming back and at half-time I was happy with the way we had weathered the storm,'' Hills said.

``It was a matter of us sticking to our structures and we thought we could come out on top.''

Hills' predictions proved correct with the Storm getting on top in the third term kicking 5.8 to 2.0 before it went on to win by 81 points, 20.18 (138) to 8.9 (57).

The win keeps the Storm in second place on the State League ladder and has the team on target to complete a series of five wins set by Hills.

``We looked at winning a block of five games in between our two Foxtel Cup games,'' Hills said.

``We've managed three and still have Launceston and the Tigers to go before we play East Perth at the end of June.''

Hills said the Storm was in a good position at this stage of the season and was quick to praise his side's tackling pressure for setting up yesterday's win.

``Our forward pressure was good and we had over 100 tackles which was well up on our previous effort against Devonport.''

A handful of his experienced players deserved credit yesterday with Matt Hanson gaining 41 possessions, Thane Bardenhagen playing well in the centre and the drive of Clinton Drake from the half-back line.

Hills said it wasn't only the experienced players who contributed in the tough conditions on a day the Storm was able to introduce two first gamers in Brodie Palfreyman and Johno Johnson.

The Storm's only injury concern from the big win was Beau Thorp with a jarred knee but Hills was confident he would recover to play against Launceston.

The Magpies matched the Storm for the majority of the first half led by interstate recruit Brent Guerra but were brushed aside in the second half in a tough afternoon.

Devonport is one of the big improvers this season and has plenty of youthful talent at its disposal who will continue to mature as the weeks go by.

The Magpies remain in eighth place on the ladder.


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