R8 U11 Div 1 v Brighton Beach
On a glorious sun drenched winter afternoon, we met Brighton Beach for the final game of the day at Castlefield.
It was our farewell game for Max Alpar who is heading back to Brisbane with his family. So our boys were up and about to send him off with a game to remember.
We knew we had to be switched on from the bounce to let Brighton Beach know we were serious about stamping our place in Div 1. Pleasingly we started off as intended, with strong clearances out of the middle. Orlando Lynch rucked for most of the day, and did so with confidence. He won most of his taps to his mid field engine room in Taj Hotton and Jem Thomas. They were supported in the centre with some hardened efforts by Jordan Rao and Dion Gavnoudias. Ollie Sutherland also played a significant role in the mid field and showed tireless desperation all day, plus a well earned mark and goal. Mitch and Harry Tuffley also provided a lot of run from the wing to the flank and hitting targets up forward.
Again our defensive pressure was enormous. It seems to becoming our backbone of strength. We put so much emphasis on that intensity and pressure. Every boy regardless of his position on the field, understands the importance of tackling. Shepherding is also something we have worked on a lot. It is becoming vital for us to throw our bodies in, and provide space for our team mates to run and carry. We saw Mitch Nolan lift to new heights, with desperate chases, and fluid ball movement. Tom Westerbeek was also hard to stop through the centre and later up forward. Our half back line was also very strong with solid sweepers in Jay Todd, Orlando Lynch, Matt Gleeson and Joe Webber.
The main message given to the boys in each break, was not to stop the momentum. We also aimed to not only maintain the pressure, but to raise it to the next level. Everyone knew what they had to do. And they responded! The effort was unstoppable. The teamwork was beautiful to watch.
In the second half we again locked the ball in our forward 50, and saw some fantastic marking and goals. Some highlights provided by Matt Gleeson, Sebastian Riddoch, Taj Hotton and Tom Westerbeek. Max Alpar also played consistently all day and demonstrated to us all why we’ll miss his presence around the club. A great player, and a great kid.
The boys sung the song with heart yesterday. Final score Rovers 42, Brighton Beach 3. But as always, its not about the score. Its about our effort and in turn enjoyment as a team. We seem to be improving every week. We are very proud of our boys, and where we are heading.
Captains: Jordan Rao & Miles Palmer
Awards: Sebastian Riddoch, Mitch Nolan, Orlando Lynch, Tom Westerbeek, Max Alpar