SWL pre-season watch: Donnybrook defeats Mandurah Mustangs in inter-league scratch match

A strong Donnybrook outfit proved too much for the Mandurah Mustangs in a pre-season scratch match at Rushton Park on Sunday.

The two clubs met in an inter-league match with unlimited interchange players, getting game time into colts, reserves and league players.

Mandurah started well but a Donnybrook side missing just a handful of its league players showed its class with a 9.5 (59) to 16.15 (111) win.

Who impressed

Matthew Bennell (Mandurah)

A young player with massive upside for the Mustangs, Bennell only played early but didn’t need long to show what he can do to a game. His skill was handy, but even more impressive was his ability to get to every contest within a passage of play. Gut running and continuous second efforts down the wing kept plays alive for the Mustangs, and gave them a few inside 50m entries they might not have had otherwise.

Matthew Bennell was all class in his time on the field. Photo: Justin Rake.

Matthew Bennell was all class in his time on the field. Photo: Justin Rake.

Blake Nella (Mandurah)

Perhaps wasn’t the biggest possession-winner on the field, but Nella impressed with his toughness at the contest and ability to effect the ground ball. Laid a few tackles and made an impact at several clearances and stoppages. Doesn’t shy away from getting in to win the hard ball.

Blake Nella after copping a knock. Photo: Justin Rake.

Blake Nella after copping a knock. Photo: Justin Rake.

Chris Atthowe (Donnybrook)

A perennial star in the SWFL, Atthowe played mainly down back in the scratch match and won a bunch of the footy repelling Mandurah’s attacks. His drive from the back line kick-started plenty of possessions for the Dons, particularly toward the end of the game when Donnybrook broke away on the scoreboard.

Chris Atthowe found plenty of the footy. Photo: Justin Rake.

Chris Atthowe found plenty of the footy. Photo: Justin Rake.

Takeaways

  1. Skill errors caused a number of turnovers for the Mustangs, but there was no denying their intent. They hit the footy hard when they had the chance, and looked to have a solid plan in place. 
  2. Donnybrook played a fairly strong side, and it showed. They swung the ball from their back line to the forward 50m arch with poise and used their hands to free up runners, both of which should prove handy this SWFL season.
  3. Mandurah was without a number of key players, but still showed glimpses of potential. The improvement they desire could be on the cards this season.