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NORTH Albury coach Jason Akermanis has slammed his side’s disposal, labelling it the worst he has seen since he’s been at the club.
The Brownlow medallist started his coaching career with a narrow 24-point win against Myrtleford at McNamara Reserve yesterday but was far from pleased with the round 1 triumph.
The bruising encounter left the Hoppers with no bench after serious injuries to Kade Brown (knee), Rory Feltwell (jaw) and Kyle Lieschke (bruised ribs).
Akermanis, who said he didn’t expect to play, laid some of the blame on a brutal training load.
“We are a really good kicking side and execution today was the worst I’ve seen it for five months,” he said.
“I have a feeling that will be as bad as we play and I have a feeling it will be as unfortunate as we can get.
“Three players going down, no one on the bench. It’s just one of those days.
“We certainly played nowhere near our best.”
In front of nearly 3000 fans, St Kilda discard Jason Gram showed his class with a five-star performance on debut for the Hoppers.
The 28-year-old, who said he was the fittest he had ever been, controlled the midfield for the Hoppers and drifted forward to cause headaches for the Saints defenders.
Jason Akermanis talks to his troops. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Myrtleford booted the first three goals of the last quarter to give the vocal home crowd a sniff of victory but couldn’t get over the line in Luke Chapman’s 200th game.
The Saints are expected to welcome back Matt Spencer for their round 2 clash away to Wodonga Raiders on April 13, the former Geelong tall missing the game to attend a wedding in Western Australia.
North Albury will be hoping to have Adam Prior and Brian Durbidge, who ran water, cleared for their home clash against premier Yarrawonga next week.
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