Elizabeth coach Sean Dickinson says he’s relieved to have shaken their Bulls hoodoo and will turn his attention to pushing into the top four after a frantic opening month of Premier Grade competition.
The Knights ended Southern Suburbs’ unbeaten run last Saturday with goalkicking the difference in a 41-36 thriller at Womma Park.
Bulls duo Sanevaca Ronavuso and Ben Gilmore both scored doubles as the sides traded six tries apiece but Elizabeth centre Fatafehi Tokoma’ata proved the match-winner with five conversions and a penalty goal.
“We’ve been expecting that kind of performance for a while now and it’s satisfying to get a game over Souths,” Dickinson said.
“For whatever reason they’ve been a bogey side for us and seem to play a game that gets under our skin but this time around we didn’t throw our leads away and we weren’t our own worst enemy.”
Dickinson pointed to his side’s mentality shift after scoring plays as key to ending their two-game losing streak but remains wary of losing focus over a crucial month for the Knights.
“Lots of teams have begun focusing on breathwork – taking a couple of moments as a group after a try is scored to reset before sharing information – and last weekend was the first time we’ve actually tried it this year,” he said.
“When we conceded a try, we took that extra moment to re-focus and I think it paid off.
“It’s been a pretty tough run the past few weeks with Old Colls and Brighton, but I think we’ve seen improvements every week this year and there’s plenty of promise and plenty of belief in the group.
“We’ve need to look at those upcoming games (Woodville and Adelaide Uni) as an opportunity to work on our structure – we almost came unstuck last year trying to throw it around against Uni last year.
“So, we’ve got a good opportunity over the next month to develop our structure, try and match that killer instinct and discipline that sides like Brighton have demonstrated in the past, and look to move into the top four.”
Elizabeth’s win saw them jump to sixth on the ladder with Souths hanging onto top spot thanks to a losing bonus point.
Meanwhile Brighton solidified their top-two position with a thumping 90-0 win over Woodville, Old Collegians’ 52-0 defeat of Port Adelaide saw them cling to third, and Onkaparinga leap-frogged Burnside into fourth with a 45-8 win over Adelaide Uni.
Uni returned the favour in the women’s competition, rolling Onkas 41-5, while Old Colls maintained their winning streak with a 40-10 win over Port.
In Reserve Grade, Souths’ 28-14 victory over Elizabeth launched them to outright first with Old Colls, Uni, Barossa & Brighton also claiming wins.
The Third Grade ladder sees Brighton Gold and Barossa unbeaten after the opening month with Souths in third after their 43-12 win over North Torrens.