“We had a couple of injuries on Thursday night, so that left us a little bit unbalanced,” Rourke said.
“Hopefully in a few weeks they will come back but it allowed a few of the younger blokes to come in and they did well so I was happy with that.
“We were really pleased, we’ve put a heap of work into Ben Jamieson and [Will] Beaumont, they’ve been really good.
“Then Nelson Foley has had a really consistent season and he played really well so we’re really pleased that a couple of our younger blokes stepped up.”
The Magpies were dominant in the second term but they are still coming to grips with the loss of Ryan Turnbull and Lexie Bennett – the latter of whom could return for the finals.
But player-coach James Bennett doesn’t have time for excuses. He says the Magpies need everyone to play their role for four quarters or the work they have put in to sit first on the ladder will quickly come undone.
“That’s the challenge for us over the next month,” Bennett said.
“We’ve got four games to go now, we just need to really try and search for that and find it over the next month. We delivered it last week, we didn’t quite do it this week, so that’s a good thing for us to work on.”
Bennett knows they will need to work extremely hard – because while they played out a thriller, there was a roar coming from across the border that served as a warning shot to every flag hopeful.
The Queanbeyan Tigers blew fellow top four side Eastlake off the park in the final term to secure a 15.12 (102) to 7.10 (52) victory at Margaret Donoghoe Oval.
Tuggeranong’s hopes of avoiding a winless season were dealt another blow as the Hawks sunk to a mammoth 140-point loss at the hands of the Gungahlin Jets at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval.
The Hawks now have to contend with each of the top four sides on the run home however coach Peter Ashcroft is refusing to wilt in the face of adversity despite suffering a 22.14 (146) to 1.6 (12) defeat.
Meanwhile, the Canberra Demons have continued their stunning charge towards the NEAFL finals with a crushing 40-point victory over the Redland Bombers at Scottsdale Park.
Sam Tonkes and Jack Powell fired in the forward line as the Demons notched up their seventh consecutive win in a 20.14 (134) to 14.10 (94) triumph away from home.
AT A GLANCE
AFL Canberra round 11 –
AINSLIE 2.1 3.6 7.11 10.16 (76)
BELCONNEN 1.0 6.2 8.3 9.7 (61)
QUEANBEYAN 3.1 4.7 9.10 15.12 (102)
EASTLAKE 1.5 2.7 6.8 7.10 (52)
GUNGAHLIN 5.2 10.6 14.10 22.14 (146)
TUGGERANONG 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.6 (12)
NEAFL round 15 –
REDLAND 3.0 4.4 8.8 14.10 (94)
CANBERRA 5.3 11.8 13.11 20.14 (134)
Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times
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