Jamarra Ugle-Hagan stars for Bulldogs in his second AFL game
Welcome to the big time, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
After an underwhelming AFL debut last weekend, the No. 1 draft pick has kickstarted his career with three sensational goals for the Western Bulldogs in their clash with Gold Coast on Saturday.
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Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge made the young talent wait until Round 17 to make his debut and Ugle-Hagan struggled to have an impact in his long-awaited first senior game against the Sydney Swans.
But he showed what all the fuss was about in his second outing for the Dogs.
The 19-year-old kicked the first goal of his career in the first quarter against the Suns.
He led superbly to the ball and outmarked defender Sam Collins 40 metres out in the forward pocket at Metricon Stadium.
In windy conditions, Ugle-Hagan went back and slotted a difficult set-shot to get his first goal at the top level on the board.
“That was beautiful. He put a little shimmy-step in, 15 metres back from where he’s marked this ball, and Sam Collins followed it for a step which bought him the metre or two to jump at the ball,” Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton said on Fox Footy.
“He’s done well. Always a lot of scrutiny, a lot of pressure — we saw this a bit last week, his ability to jump, but he just couldn’t take the ball cleanly (against Sydney),” Brisbane Lions triple premiership player Alastair Lynch said on Fox Footy.
“Good execution reading what is a pretty hard wind to read.”
Ugle-Hagan backed it up early in the second quarter after he was left unmarked in the Bulldogs’ forward 50.
Kicking from the 50 metre arc, the young gun unleashed a long bomb with his left foot that sailed over the goal umpire’s hat.
“Ugle-Hagan makes it two out of two. What a start for Jamarra in his second game!” Fox Footy commentator Anthony Hudson exclaimed.
Expert commentators were beyond impressed with Ugle-Hagan’s confident goal-kicking action.
“It’s great in this era of inaccuracy to see a young kid come through who’s nailed a couple of rippers,” former Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy said.
“Looks like he’s got a magnificent technique.”
“I watched him last week and I thought: ‘He’s not ready this kid’,” Brereton said.
“Today in half a game of football I think he might be just about ready to really launch. He’s looked really good today.”
Ugle-Hagan added a third goal to his tally in the second half when he juggled a contested mark in the forward pocket.
On a tight angle, he snapped the ball around his body, curling the ball in between the goalposts in a classy finish.
Ugle-Hagan was delighted with his performance and kicking his first goal in the AFL.
“It actually woke me up a a bit. I was like wow I just kicked a goal in AFL,” Ugle-Hagan told Fox Footy after the game.
“I’ll remember that forever.
“I still get nervous. It’s just unbelievable. It still doesn’t feel real.”