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SCORPIONS v HAWKS - Practice Match 1 by KC from Casey

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There seems little doubt that the Casey Scorpions of 2015 will be a far different proposition to the side that limped through much of last season to finish second last, ahead only of the now defunct Bendigo Gold.

On that performance, the club would be ranked last among the remaining VFL clubs but, after a shaky opening few minutes, the team settled down well against one of the competition's power house combinations and maintained control for much of the game. Their accuracy in front of goal was a stand out.

Gone were the hesitancy and poor decision making of a team that was often undermanned, inexperienced and outclassed side playing poor directionless football and in its place were bigger bodies and a new style of more direct purposeful football under new coach Justin Plapp. They held on against the wind to win well by 20 points - 10.2.62 to 5.12.42.

There was only a small contingent of AFL listed players with rejuvenated big man Cam Pedersen relishing the game against his old VFL club and dominating all over the ground, particularly up forward where he was in fine marking form and got among the goals. Angus Brayshaw was the most impressive of the young recruits. Playing in the middle, he showed class and balance and dominated the centre clearances with great effect. His second term was outstanding. He has clean hands and delivered the ball well given the gusty conditions and relished playing under Plapp, his 2014 coach at the Sandringham Dragons.

James Harmes was effective coming out of defence and Oscar McDonald, playing mainly up forward moved well and kicked a goal early. Billy Stretch on a wing was quiet but had a few good runs and looms as a future outside player who will no doubt be groomed to emulate the Lewis Jetta/Isaac Smith type of player in the future. Jake Spencer rucked strongly, assisted by Jack Fitzpatrick who filled in up forward for short periods.

Skipper Evan Panozza played his usual workmanlike role in defence with occasional stints up forwards. Mitch Gent, who was sidelined by injury last year, was in good form and Tim Smith took a couple of his trademark hangers. Ed Morris and Bryce Rutherford look to be kicking on from their break out seasons of last year.

Lucas Walmsley was the stand out among the recruits. He has pace and poise, kicked the first goal and showed out and with his shock of blond dreadlocked hair is sure to become a crowd favourite.

Other recruits who caught the eye were Jack Hutchins ex Gold Coast, returning Gippsland Power player Tom Muir who spent last year in Adelaide, James Munro from Sandringham and Luke Hannon who skippered Eastern Ranges last year and was a teammate of injured Demon recruit Christian Petracca. Jordan Moncrieff, the son of ex-Hawthorn forward Michael, is a likely type at 197cm.

The side was missing experienced Shannon Byrnes and Will Petropoulos and will have much greater depth in 2015 but the main difference between the Scorps of last year and this year is the purpose and spirit of the players. They have a greater desire to succeed. At the final break, Plapp called upon them to maintain their intensity and show the opposition no respite and they managed to do that against a very strong side. They mastered the conditions, kicked well for goal and deserved the result.

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