Div 1: Waverley Park at Waverley Park…cold, damp, more than half an hour away from home, 19 players & they beat us by 50 only 3 weeks ago…what sort of a day are we in for?
The themes for today were intensity, tackling, listening to instructions & “Bull Ritchie” (thanks Stu).
Last week we had 71 tackles (with Jacko 11 and Zac 10) and lost due to being down to 17 men for most of the second half. If we had similar numbers today WE WOULD WIN. We had already had 2 concussions and 2 collar bone injuries this season because we had been hit hard…it was time for us to tackle THEM hard. The aim was for EVERY boy to get at least 2-3 tackles each and stick to our game plan.
First quarter with the strong wind and we went with an open forward line with only Perko & Loz in the forward 50…WOW…what a start…5.1 on the board before Wav Park even scored, then they got a late one into the breeze before the siren.
Second quarter against the breeze…tough, gang tackles, pressure everywhere. They got 3.5 but we got 2.2 into the wind…priceless.
A chat at half time about everything we were doing right…supreme one-on-one contests, selfless acts, running in numbers, powerful tackles, chipping the ball accurately to teammates who had worked to space, kicking the ball to the hotspot, following instructions. One more reminder of “Bull Ritchie” and we were out to fight the second half.
Third quarter with the wind…another solid quarter with 5.3 and excellent ball use but they managed to squeeze 3 straight goals into the wind to give themselves a tiny sniff…31 points up at the last break.
Last quarter against the wind…had it suddenly got stronger? I swear it had!…frantic.
Our boys were sensational…they kicked 4.2 with the wind to our 1 straight goal but cool heads under pressure and some magnificent selfless acts saw us hold firm (the scoreboard actually had us only 5 points up at the end which was nerve-wracking!)
Fantastic win boys…BELIEVE & NEVER GIVE UP!
Ferg Murray – best game I’ve ever seen him play…21 possessions, 6 marks, 5 tackles and a long bomb goal
James Larkworthy – disciplined game as a key target at CHF with 5 marks, 3 tackles and 2 goals
Lachie Fraser – another stunning game with game-breaking bursts through packs and slick handballs and 5 tackles
Jackson Courtney – another 7 tackles and his best game of the year with a great snap goal to boot
Callum Charlton – disciplined, ferocious attack on the ball and 5 tackles
Special Mentions: Boysey-incredible game (again) with 4 marks, 5 tackles and 2 goals; Garbo-tough reliable (again) and 5 tackles; Tommy Goldsmith-fantastic game (again) with 5 marks 6 tackles and great ball use; Hardy-his best game of the year…disciplined, creative, 5 tackles and sensational piece of play at the very end to drive the ball forward and towards the boundary to safety; Tom Maginness-tireless and dominant in the ruck all day (again) and 4 tackles; Ben Marron-had to hold down full back (again) and was tight and disciplined with 3 tackles and 2 goal saving marks; Cam Morris-sensational game at half back (again) with an equal game high 7 tackles and terrific intercept marks; Frank Morris-tough, disciplined and 5 tackles and unbelievably unlucky to be pinged for holding the ball in the last quarter; Harry Neave-3 tackles, 4 great marks (again) and beautiful run and ball use; Perko-the general was back and dominant at full forward with 3 goals and 2 tackles and ferocious attack on the ball; Jacob Travers-played tall (again) on a good player and spoiled strongly and ran off him and had 3 tackles; Nick Van der Linden-excellent ball use (again) with a fantastic goal and 3 tackles; Loz-a key target (again) at full forward highlighted with wonderful kicking and 3 goals and 3 tackles; Zac-ferocious attack on the man and ball (again) with 3 tackles
My maths says that this all adds up to 82 tackles…magnificent…a stunning season high and a resultant win!
Let’s keep working hard boys…get to training and keep working on our marking and skills…you were all terrific today.