Again we found ourselves a little short on numbers this week with a couple of our runners away, although our ranks were boosted by James Jebb returning from injury, Hewy Sawatzki returning from sickness and also Angus Hare from U8 Purple (as his dad Bill Hare was taking up the umpiring role with Chris O’Keefe having a well earned break). Thanks Angus and Bill! Our captains for the day in Josh Kordupel and James Di Nicola.
The older age groups refer to the U8s as the ‘dew kickers’ as they usually kick things off at the earliest time slot. However, this week we actually became the ‘ice kickers’ as the Castlefield turf at 8am was covered in frost, in fact our stand-in team manager Myles Whelan recorded a temperature of -1 when he turned up at the ground.
Then the Port Melbourne Colts turned up with only 14 players so our rotations were once again turned upside down. However, each quarter 3 of or boys played with the Colts and once again, not one of them whinged about it. Great team spirit once again shown by our boys.
Before the game I warned our boys that in the last 4 rounds we were playing sides that we had previously played well against, and that they would all be out to even up the ‘score’ against our Rovers. Based on our last outing against the Colts we were expecting a free and flowing game, but this was not to be.
Our boys were a little sluggish to get started this week and in the first quarter our backline was under immediate pressure as the Colts were keener for the footy. Josh Bou Diab at full back and Luke at centre half back managed to repel some opposition forward entries, then Zac Saunders was his usual best passing to Hewy who nearly managed our first score of the match. However, at quarter-time we were a little under the pump.
Once again the ball was trapped in our backline for much of the second quarter. This time Zac, Hewy, Spencer, and Joe did a great job trying to defend but the Colts were playing better footy. Adrian Gonzales playing a quarter with the Colts even managed to snag a goal for the opposition, but that’s something that shows the sportsmanship of our Rovers team.
At the main break the coach tried to get our boys to hit the ‘reset’ button and motivate them to start again. The Colts were not a better skilled team, rather they just wanted it more. The rev up had some impact as we managed to quickly kick our first goal of the match with Lachlan Curtis putting away his first ever major (followed by a massive celebration … love it!). Congrats to Lachy – this goal was always going to happen as he’d been on the improve for weeks. I feel now he has cracked one, there will be more to come.
Hewy played an awesome third quarter and demonstrated skill by collecting the ball right in front of the coaches and passing nicely to Joe. A few of the Rovers also linked together some multiple ball movement – showing some glimpses of the type of play we are all more familiar with. James Jebb also got better and better as the game went on.
In the last quarter we threw everything at the colts by putting together a strong midfield, which helped stem the flow from the first half but unfortunately the damage had already been done and the Colts got home by a couple of goals. The positive was that in the second half of the match we managed to hold our ground. It was a tough day for the boys but we were proud of the way they finished the game off and went over to congratulate the opposition – honouring the ‘Respect’ part of the club slogan in fine style.
So far our boys have had an awesome season, they have learned heaps and have been able to belt out the club song nearly every week, so perhaps this was the game that had to happen, to put our boys in check so they don’t get ahead of themselves which is a great footy lesson. We all know how well our boys can play on their day and l am looking forward to seeing how they bounce back.
Once again thanks to Billy & Angus Hare and all of our great parent group who help out. Enjoy the week off and then we’re back into it.
Koje & Kurt