After an encouraging effort last weekend, the U12 D6 Rovers were looking forward to their game in Round 6. The captain for the day was Stanley H, who led by example during last week’s game. This week’s team was a relatively unchanged team from last week and our opponents were Mordialloc-Braeside, who had a big win against the East Brighton the week before. The goal for this week was to increase our usage of handballs as part of our ball movement across the ground.
The Rovers won the toss and elected to kick with the wind. As is the team’s intent to give all players an opportunity to play forward, midfield and back, there were a few boys playing new positions for the club at the first bounce. Will S was instrumental in numerous long kicks and forward entries, and Billy M was busy providing a forward option. Ben F was active in the centre, and took a spectacular mark in a pack. The Rovers had plenty of the ball, with the majority of time in our forward half, but unfortunately we couldn’t convert. Both Lachie K and Christian B were stout in defence with excellent pressure marks, but against the run of play Mordi-Brae squeezed a goal. At quarter time, the team had almost 2 dozen handballs, a great effort in listening to their coaches and executing the gameplan.
As expected, the opposition used the wind to their advantage in the second quarter, with some quality ball use and finishing, resulting in a few goals their way. However, it wasn’t all one way traffic, as the Rovers battled the opposition and the wind to drive the ball forward, with Ethan P getting leather poisoning as he continuously drove the ball into the forward line. Chevi O, playing in the forward pocket took his chances in a pack and snapped truly, his first goal for Rovers! There was also excellent ball use in defence, with Eddie L utilizing his smarts and handball skill to get the team out of trouble numerous times. The ball use was down compared to the second quarter, so at the break, the team was encouraged to keep moving the ball around by hand and foot in the third.
In the third, James M started putting his imprint on the game, with numerous long kicks into the forward line, And Lucas C lead with commitment to get the ball. Jake M kept-up the forward pressure, Jace D was racking-up quality possessions and Zac B contested hard in the packs. There was better ball use this quarter, but unfortunately the boys couldn’t convert their opportunities. In the other direction, Mordi-Brae couldn’t do either, with immense backline pressure from Rovers keeping the opposition goalless. Stand-outs for Rovers were Oscar G who had a goal-saving tackle and smother, and Oli A’s man-on-man pressure.
Come the final quarter, the team applied themselves with renewed effort to peg back Mordi-Brae’s lead. Ben D stuck an excellent tackle to change position and Jack C cleared from the danger area with skill. In an excellent example of leadership, Stanley H rushed back to fill a vacant opposition goal square and stopped a certain opposition goal. Max R continued to compete in the ruck, and was able to tap to our advantage for Ethan P to drive the ball forward. Despite the team’s efforts, the opposition was able to extend their lead in the latter stages of the quarter.
At the final siren, it was Mordi-Brae in a hard fought match. But the Rover’s effort excellent from start to finish. The coaching staff was also pleased to see the players continue to develop their ball use and game sense, and this will be a continued focus at training this week.
Coaches Mike and David