A clear message was conveyed to the girls that they were taking on an extremely strong side in St Peter’s this week. Experienced division and defence, and accountability was the cornerstone of our plans for this match.
The parents all had smiles on their faces with the late game time of 1.45pm, the sun was shining nicely, and the girls warmed up strongly in preparation for the big challenge ahead of them at Castlefield Reserve.
Jess W and Sienna were announced as our captains for the day and won the toss which was a good start to proceedings.
Jasmyn B was sent to the last line of defence and was joined by a very strong and experienced defensive group of Jess T, Jess W and Cate in the first quarter. They were briefed about the need to be right on their opponents and not to offer up any space. Jazzey C, Sophie, Tilly and Lealah started in the middle and were also advised to play right in the pockets of the St Peter’s girls. From the first bounce it was clear that our expectations were spot on and St Peter’s were a strong team. All of our mids and defenders worked overtime and tackled hard, applied pressure and did everything they could to get some momentum going our way. Hannah, Poppy, Lily and Tess did their best to win the ball and locked it into our forward 50 whenever the ball headed their way. A couple of goals were conceded to St Peter’s but it easily could have been more if not for some stellar efforts by all girls, particularly Jasmyn, Jazzey and Tilly.
The team was shuffled around at quarter time and the girls were reminded at the break to ensure that they didn’t let the St Peter’s girls go to ground when being tackled as they seemed to be dropping like autumn leaves as soon as they were touched. Jasmyn, Jess T, Poppy and Cate started to get on top in the middle and were able to win the inside 50’s for the Rovers. Jess W was on fire up forward and a highlight was her looking back to our bench to hear Leigh’s call to play on after a strong mark. She was bringing our other forwards into the play with great teamwork and Sienna capitalised and converted our first sausage roll of the day. Well done Sienna!! Once again, our defensive 4 had to do all bar hold up the Eildon Weir and were superb. Jazzey, Hannah, Tilly and Tess were all shoulder to shoulder with the St Peter’s girls and stopped many of their forward thrusts. A highlight of the quarter was the big tackle Poppy laid on the far wing and was rewarded by the umps with a much-deserved free kick.
The oranges were well received at half time and the girls were highly commended for their high work rate and commitment to the task. The Rovers had certainly stopped the goal fest that their counterparts were used to. They were shown that the breeze had picked up slightly and we had it behind our backs for the 3rd quarter. We went with a very strong and experienced 4 in the middle and Hannah, Jasmyn, Jess W and Bianca were getting to the contest first and were sending the ball up forward. Jazzey was running around like a toothless tiger and was rewarded for her gut busting efforts with our 2nd goal of the day. Tilly, Jess T and Cate were working hard to lock the ball in our forward area. Once again, our defenders in Sophie, Lealah, Lily and Sienna were put under maximum pressure and withstood many opposition forward thrusts. Jasmyn was sensational and layed more tackles than Cam Smith from Melbourne Storm!
The girls jogged into the ¾ time huddle as one and you could see on the look of their faces just how hard they had been working. The 4th quarter started with the Rovers still a good chance of running over the top of the opposition due to their fitness and desire. Jazzey and Jess W were back in the middle and were joined by Tess and Bianca. It was more of the same as they all threw their bodies at the contest to win the ball for our team. Tilly, Poppy, Sophie and Cate were all holding it together strongly in defence and when the ball went forward we had girls ready to pounce in Jasmyn, Hannah, Lily and Sienna. Whilst our girls didn’t manage a goal in the last quarter, they all worked very hard and used great teamwork to contain St Peter’s.
From an overall perspective the Rovers girls put on an extremely gallant display and would have derived great learning from playing against a more experienced and well-oiled outfit. To keep St Peters to only 6 girls was just reward for a great team performance. There is no doubt that the Rovers girls will be ready to rumble in any return match against this team. Tilly, Jasmyn, Jess W and Lily received the coach’s awards on the day.
Coach U10 Girls