Greater Western Sydney forward Tom Boyd might be touted as an AFL star of the future, but it was Belconnen youngster Logan Austin's job on him that caught Magpies coach Jeremy Rowe's eye.
The Magpies were on the end of their second hiding of the NEAFL season, going down to a relentless GWS Giants reserves 18.20 (128) to 2.11 (23) at Kippax Oval on Saturday.
While Rowe said Belconnen was embarrassed in their its opener against Aspley, he was much happier with the endeavour against the Giants.
Belconnen was in the contest from the first contest, but the Giants midfield got on top early and ground down the Magpies on their way to a 105-point victory.
Rowe was unwilling to write off the season and equally unwilling to say the return of Mulrooney medallist James Bennett (groin) would be a panacea.
Much has been made of the improvement throughout the competition, with some concern about whether the Canberra clubs would be left behind.
But Rowe felt his side was starting to improve.
"The first sign of weakness in a footy club is when you say everything is going to be OK when one or two guys come back. We've got to really push the whole group to improve so that when these guys come back from long-term injuries, they're not expected to change the whole fortune of the group," he said.
Rowe said after quarter-time the Giants started to be able to move the ball into their forward 50 much more quickly.
But he was still impressed with Austin's efforts in restricting Boyd to three goals.
"With Boyd being a professional athlete that's going to have a really good AFL career, we were quite happy with the effort that Logan Austin put forth on him," Rowe said.
"He's still involved as an over-ager in the [NSW-ACT] Rams program ... him and Jack Steele are two guys that still have an eye to a career in footy and they've certainly both got tools that make that gettable."
Queanbeyan's game against the Sydney Swans on Sunday has been moved to Blacktown, while Ainslie will host Eastlake at Alan Ray Oval later in the day.
NEAFL ROUND THREE
Belconnen 0.7 1.7 1.10 2.11 (23)
UWS Giants 1.3 6.14 11.17 18.20 (128)
Goals - Belconnen: J. Taylor 2; Giants: T. Boyd 3, S. Reid 2, J. Mudge 2, D. Addison , J. Stewart , J. Barrett , J. Finlayson , K. Jaksch , A. Corr , T. Downie , Z. Williams , C. Mccarthy , J. Cornell , J. O''Rourke.
Best - Belconnen: J. Harper, R. Turnbull, J. Rowe, C. Jansen, D. Hector, J. Taylor; Giants: J. O''Rourke, A. Phillips, M. Whiley, M. Buntine, T. Boyd, D. Addison.