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VFL: Billings responds

Justin Cooper  June 12, 2018 12:16 PM

Billings: VFL Round 10 Jack Billings finished with 53 disposals and 3 goals in Sandringham's Round 10 win over Frankston. Saints Emerging Stars thanks to H&M Tracey

Omitted Saint Jack Billings responded emphatically in the VFL after being left out of the senior side for the first time since 2016.

Billings had the ball on a string, amassing 53 disposals and booting three goals in a best-on-ground performance, ultimately leading the Zebras to a 121-point thumping of Frankston.

Returning star Josh Bruce was another standout Saint, kicking four goals in what was his first taste of competitive football in almost two months.

Ruckman Billy Longer dominated proceedings after missing last week through illness, and the big man partnered well with midfield bull David Armitage, who collected 41 disposals for the match.

READ: Billings a class above

Sandringham was dominant from the first bounce, exploding out of the blocks with a seven-goal first term before keeping the Dolphins goalless in the second and third quarters.

Nathan Freeman gathered 26 disposals in his return from a shoulder injury, while Irishman Ray Connellan looked dangerous, slotting three majors.

Sandringham coach Aaron Hamill spoke glowingly of his side’s ability to get back to playing the Zebras brand in what was the first ever VFL Pride Cup.

“It was really pleasing to get back to playing our best football; defensively, offensively, contested; and to restrict the opposition for four quarters,” Hamill told saints.com.au.

“We had 84 tackles and 460 disposals, so we hunted the ball and the opposition.”

WATCH: Billings VFL Round 10 Highlights

Hamill was full of praise for three high profile Saints – Jack Billings, Josh Bruce and veteran David Armitage – all of whom had strong performances for the Zebras.

“Jack Billings recorded really high numbers, but it was the way he approached the game and played his role for four quarters. It’s that consistency that puts him back into AFL contention,” Hamill said.

“Really rapt for Josh Bruce. He’s had to work really hard to get back from injury after nine weeks out, but his output and attitude was first-class. His dedication to the contest was really strong, and naturally, his talent took over from there.

“Armo (David Armitage) was really strong for us inside and reading Billy Longer’s ruckwork. He brings so much to the table at any level, so he’s another experienced body who shouldn’t be far from an AFL recall.”

Sandringham       7.2          10.10      17.13      22.18 (150)
Frankston            
2.1          2.4          2.7          3.10 (28)

GOALS  Bruce 4, Billings 3, Haidon 3, Seccull 3, Connellan 3, Wright 2, Answerth, Lamb, McLean, Longer
BEST    
Bruce, Billings, Armitage, Longer, Seccull, Connellan

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