Great to be back at Castlefield this morning. Weather forecast was rain and high wind. We avoided the rain but the wind was strong to the Eastern end of the ground.
Today I chose two Captains via a goal kicking challenge at training. Set shots from the boundary line pocket. The first two through were Fletcher and Jody and both the boys led us out today. We won the toss and chose to kick into the wind first up with the aim of finishing the game off with the breeze. I discussed this with the Captains, Jody queried this plan asking if the “what is the wind dies down?” I assured him I’d check the forecast and we should be fine.
We lined up today short one man, Dan was still away, Tristan was a late withdrawal and Javier injured himself the day prior. Javier turned up early to support the team and manned the bench throughout the game cheering his mates. I really like that!
The theory today was, that we would fight hard for the first quarter stay tight in the back line and look to capitalise when we had the wind in the following quarter. That theory went out the door when we let slip four pretty easy goals to the opposition. They were playing some great footy but it wasn’t our most united performance down back. The boys looked down at quarter time but I reminded them that this was our quarter, we had the breeze and if we played smart footy and kept possession we could match the efforts of South Melbourne. That is exactly what we did, the midfield worked really hard to get the ball down our end and Jody managed to get on the end of three goals for the quarter. While we had found some new confidence the ball still made its way up the West end of the ground and the bloods managed to get a goal back into the breeze. The quarter was highlighted with some great work from Chris Wormington again who is getting better each week. Toby Clarkson gave his all and every contest and
At half time we had some great play and solid efforts at both ends of the ground to re-enforce, however we were being beaten in the numbers game today. Too few of the rovers willing to run to the contest and equal the numbers that showed up each time from South Melbourne. We made some changes to the team and looked to tighten up the back end get a goal or two into the wind.
We again had a really tight battle in the midfield again and the ball spent a lot of time down back. Our backline was working much better and one big factor was our Captain Fletcher who was causing the opposition some headaches, he was taking on the South numbers and winning time and again along with rushing behinds and driving the ball out of our back line. He was well supported by his back six. We hoped to score against the wind when Harry fed the ball to Theeran who snapped the ball over to Campbell, he played on and kicked a great goal from a distance he shouldn’t have made it from. We were looking good for the run down in the last quarter after South Melbourne’s fast start.
Unfortunately the last quarter with the wind didn’t provide the goals we wanted and it finished a pretty even contest for the period. Today the difference between our two teams was simply the united effort we saw from the South Melbourne side, they were quite impressive and well coached. Our best footy is good enough to match this side, we proved that many times today and we’ll look forward to having another crack in the lightning premiership in two weeks time.
Today we had some really great play, and some ripper performances. The weekly awards were:
RCD Beanie for Connor Award – Fletcher Ockerby who was Mr Reliable today. Hardly lost a contest even when outnumbered. I was really impressed with his control, poise under pressure and ability to just win the footy in tough conditions. One of Fletcher’s best games so far.
Guts and Determination Award – Jack Stefanovic impressed me today with his development of getting to the play. He is finding the right spots and running in all the right directions. He took a nice mark on eth wing today and I can see him growing as a footballer each week.
Absolutely Smashed It #1– Harry Ockerby who has had a great season all round and today was one of our major ball winners around the ground. Harry has been showing leadership all year also and taking his footy very seriously. Greta game today.
Absolutely Smashed It #2 – Ollie Ries who has a tough year with some extended leave and a few injuries is now getting things on track heading to the seasons end. Today he worked hard all day and never gave up.
Brown Cow Award – Magnus Barton, today I gave Magnus a few set tasks. The first was to be a target in the first half up forward and even though it’s not where we is comfortable, he held his spot and received a few marks and created another match up for the opposition. Later in the game I challenged him to really get moving in the midfield and I saw him really apply himself in this regard. When Magnus does this he becomes a real asset to our team and provides us another option around the ground.