Whether it was Janni “Superstar” Mirosevich, Chris “Bagman” Moerman or Damian “Damo” Serong, the Nashville Kangaroos have usually had a good answer at full forward. It was surprising, then, that midfielder/half forward Cliff “Nugget” Cosnahan comprehensively won the goal-kicking award in 2014. While teammates and fans were pleased with Cosnahan’s productivity and proud of his skills, increased firepower in the forward line was definitely on the wish list.
Against Atlanta, Cosnahan had kicked seven of Nashville’s ten goals in their previous encounter and looked on his way again with two goals in the first quarter. However, after goal production dried up in the second quarter with an injury to Ross “Rosco” Flemming, Nathan “Nate” Caldwell was swung into full forward at half time. It was a revolutionary move, as Caldwell displayed his aerial expertise to grab several strong overhead marks and kick four goals in the third quarter.
With one game played in the season, nothing is truly decided yet, but Caldwell is atop the goal-kicking list. No doubt he intends to stay there.
The quality of rookies Brandon Beasley, Brandon Hancock and Robby Ker was equally as exciting for the 2015 season. Beasley and Ker played strongly for the Kookaburras, who were much more competitive than the lopsided score indicates. Hancock kicked a goal in his first match, providing another option in the revitalized Roo forward line.
Around the ground, the Kookaburras statistically exceeded the Kangaroos in marking, 63 to 44. It was not enough, as the Kangaroos showed some slick ground ball gathering and handpasses that more than made up for the Kookaburras’ accurate foot passes.
Scores by quarter:
1st - Nashville 4.1 (25), Atlanta 0.6 (6)
2nd - Nashville 5.8 (38), Atlanta 0.6 (6)
3rd - Nashville 10.11 (71), Atlanta 0.7 (7)
4th - Nashville 13.14 (92), Atlanta 2.7 (19)
Nashville: Nathan Caldwell 4, Cliff Cosnahan 2, Luke Nemeth 2, Tim Fulwider, Nick Kerpan, Gilberto Ortiz, James Duty, Brandon Hancock.
Next up, the Nashville Kangaroos travel to the Louisville Metro 10s Tournament on May 16 after some fun at the Allyson Todd and Holly Baker Memorial Golf Tournament on May 3.