Well, it was a very tough and disappointing day (albeit a glorious day weather wise) for the Div 1 team today.
It already started badly when we lost Lachie Fraser with a serious ankle injury from school footy yesterday.
Then we came up against a very disciplined and strong Cheltenham-Highett outfit who, quite simply, were more skilled and clearly went in much harder than us and wanted the ball much more than us on the day.
Before the game we talked about structure and hardness…the two aspects that were outstanding last week in our win over Waverley Park.
At half time, 50 points down, we talked about these two facets of the game again and how they were sadly lacking.
The third quarter saw a glimmer of a lift in our game and we were able to stem the tide and draw the quarter 2.2 each. However, skill errors (basic skill errors) cost us dearly and terrific passages of play were ruined by dropped marks and poor kicks.
The last quarter started perfectly with Hardy bursting out of the centre and pinpointing a pass to Perko for a quick goal. But, sadly, Cheltenham-Highett were too good and kicked away to a 68 point win.
The tackle count today was 46 (down from 82 last week)…with Franky Morris laying 11 of those.
That means the other 19 players lay only 36 tackles between them (7 players had only 1 tackle, one player had none!)…disappointing.
Unfortunately, we had many players down today, but there were still some shining lights.
Chris Perkins – 4 goals out of 6 and dangerous every time we moved the ball quickly into the forward line
Frank Morris – 10 tackles (HARDNESS) and a wonderful kick to Perko in the last quarter from the centre (following instructions…STRUCTURE)
James Larkworthy – clean hands, 7 marks and a goal and presented all day at CHF
Tom Maginness – 16 possessions and repeated efforts and second efforts all day
Special mentions: Hardy – 28 possessions and 5 tackles as well as the play of the day to start the last quarter; Nick Van der Linden – 8 marks and a constant link man; Boysey – 20 possessions and yet again follows team rules to the letter.
We now have a week off next week to lick our wounds and ready ourselves for the rest of the season.
I know that our best can match it with the top teams and I am positive that we are not 10 goals worse than Cheltenham-Highett. We just need to work hard on our skill level and bring “effort” to every game we play. For the most part, it wasn’t there today!