Palmer puts his hand up to be a forward enforcer. Wells with early cheek sets up Troy for a long tumbling kick over the top to Hare who goals. Cassidy is winning several tapouts to advantage. Randall wakes up after a crunching tackle and starts punching ball out to a running Tuffley kicking long to Paino. Rovers are the major aggressors this quarter taking several shots at goal. Wells sending long to Harris through to Cassidy. Duffin repels up to the marking Cassidy. Griffin is a tackling machine. Akinci is a solid wall that Sth Melb cannot climb over. Paino tackles, ball spills to Tuffley, hands out to Wells who roosts long to Palmer’s mark. He sees it forward to King who goals. Now Duffin gets down low and gritty, Troy out to Paino to Palmer, long kick forward, ball in dispute Morris lays a heavy tackle, Duffin along the line now. Sth Melb try another route to goal but Akinci is there as well. Monster kick out to Frenchy. Good assertive quarter. HR – 15 vs SM – 0
Morris tackling again. French is in there. Duffin marking, driving forward. Akinci defends to Lyons back to Akinci on to Tuffley who kicks while being tackled. Paino arrives and wraps up the opposition in a Python squeeze. Akinci punts out to Troy’s mark who goes long to Wells. But back it comes. Rovers are certainly under sustained attack this quarter, a season as defenders have prepped them well for this and the defense stands up. Several shots but no goals conceded. Gathercole with a diving mark, plays on to Wells who chips forward to King inside 50 who goes back and slots one home. Rovers make them pay. Cassidy taps to his own crumb, out to French, out wide to the strong marking Tuffley, Howe gets busy, handballs to Randall jinking, crunched, Cassidy, French, Morris dispossessed but pushing forward, the team is up and about. Morris fires a torpedo from defence to Harris’ strong mark, on to Troy to Hare, marching into attack, Harris taps on to Gathercole. Sth Melb are more determined yet cant break back. Griffin repels, Paino wraps em up, Cassidy soldiering in the ruck, Duffin draws a free kick, punts long, Randall brings it to ground, Tuffley traps it in, Duffin’s magnificent spoil, Sth Melb lock it in their attacking 50 for a long spell to no avail, Akinci dispelling all advances, Tuffley toes on, Troy to Paino, Palmer caught with it, Howe is tackling, Sth Melb not used to such a battle toughened defense finally score after the siren. HR – 22 vs SM – 9
Randall into the ruck. French goes out with a head knock replaced by the ever-ready Mitch Tuffley. A lot of scrabbly scrum work, Cassidy marks a chaos ball, Lyons saves a certain goal, Akinci’s long kickout makes valuable ground, Paino emerges and smashes one forward, ball spills to Troy, Gathercole, back to Troy, Paino forward again ball comes back and Paino takes a screamer in front of the coaches box, parents go wild, Palmer bullets one to King’s strong mark, Randall with a crunching tackle, Howe brings down several in a row with bone jarring tackles, ball spills to Troy passing to Tuffley, to Cassidy to Gathers, nice passage, Palmer boosts one forward to Tuffley, to the marking Morris, who powerhouse kicks to Tuffley.M wide, he goes inboard to Paino whose handball is smothered, footrace Duffin, Griffin handballs, great tackle Harris, Tuffley.M to Palmer long to Hare’s oustretched arms. Fans in full voice now. Morris emerges from a scrum and punts through the middle of the big sticks, thrilling. Griffin gets covered in glory in a heavy tackle. Cassidy scoops to Griffin who with Paino & Wells work to demolish another attack. Sth Melb are attacking and fluke one bouncing over the back. Paino takes a magnificent pack mark, Lyons staunch as the last line of defence, Griffin is Tigerish again, In one end-to-end connecting run Paino goes long from the goal line to Troy on down the line to Morris, over the top to Tuffley, back to Troy who punts to Hare, handballs to King who is mown down just before he could kick a goal. Great quarter. HR – 28 vs SM – 17
Rovers put together a season’s lessons with a whole-team approach for this session. Everyone gets involved. Tuffley wins the clearance out to Tuffley.M’s strong mark, kicks to Palmer, a spinning turn from Harris, Troy burrowing in, Wells wants it, Randall has it, Paino emerges and kicks across the face in front of the peanut gallery, and seconds later bangs it through for a goal. Crowd ecstatic. 60 seconds later Sth melb scores back. 34 plays 23. It’s a long way to go. Troy hands to Wells. Now Paino does a piledriving tackle. Sth Melb scores a point. Akinci kicks out to Paino, on to Randall, then out of bounds, Sth M again attack, Duffin sees it off, Randall’s bearhug tackle, Howe worries it forward, Palmer caught with it, Morris marks spins around to Tuffley.M goes long to Lyons, to Palmer, back out to Akinci, to Duffin, to the solid marking Griffin, Randall toes on, Lyons lays a wrap tackle, Randall wins a tap to Troy, Wells, and Gathercole, running but not looking, ball smothered by Wells, and now Palmer, Paino handballs of the ground, Morris switches to Greco-Roman, Rovers are fierce, Hare tackles, tired players throwing themselves into the fray, Hare now explodes out, Gathercole buffets, Griffin is slung out of the congestion, Tuffley rides a man down, Paino kicks long to a dynamic leaping Hare marking in front of goal, goes back and goals, Solid. Griffin smothers the next play, Troy channels Ju Jitsu, and now Griffin does a classic ball-and-all tackle, gains the free kick, Wells punts forward, Tuffley to Griffin, Harris to Randall, and Morris in the lead for the ball as the siren sounds on another season. Good work boys.
Final score HR – 40 vs SM – 24
Coaches Best – Akinci, Paino, Troy, Griffin, Tuffley, Palmer, Harris