Today was another perfect autumn morning and we headed down to Donald McDonald Reserve to take of the undefeated U/10 Beauy Sharks. In fact both teams today were undefeated and it was looking like a great encounter for both groups.
Our Rovers team was down a few good men with Ollie Ries, Jade Doherty and Chris Wormington all away today. However we welcomed back Josh Marshall for his first game with Rovers in 2018 and a new team mate in Tom Hollingworth. We also had help from our Under 9 boys getting a few extra quarters with Kai Hotton and Will Langford stepping up for the big game.
Our Captains today were Baxter Moss and Tristan Gastevich, two boys I chose after a strong training session this week. Listening, following instructions and working hard in the drills.
The first quarter was hard footy and the sharks gave us a lesson on playing in front and moving the ball quickly. We had plenty of opportunity with the Ockerby boys Harry and Fletcher working well together in the middle. Raph spent some time at training this week working on his ruck taps and using his body, it showed today as he used his tall strong frame to win EVERY tap. (Great work Raph!) The back line was under constant pressure where Campbell provided a big body and attacked well. Seb, Jody and Lincoln kept rebounding the ball back to the midfield. Daniel Story did some great efforts in the thick of play and was smart enough to keep dropping back to stop any leaks. Beauy kept the heat on and managed a goal and few behinds. Our forwards had very little opportunities and we had our first scoreless quarter of the year.
Second Quarter address: Stay In Front of your man, attack the ball and move it quickly. The boys started to get into the normal grove, Jody was everywhere sporting a vicious new hair cut and collecting the pill and making hard tackles. Lincoln had some damaging possessions into our forward line and young Kai Hotton threw his body at the ball eventually coming to the bench battered and bruised. Seb Gelso collected some footy and run on the wing and Campbell again bodied up in the Ruck. Captain Baxter Moss controlled the back line and provided great avenue moving the ball out from back pocket. Jack Stefanovich played hard footy down forward causing some spills that Harry and Fletcher jumped on. Harry battled away all quarter and eventually was rewarded with a goal. We managed to keep the ball in our half more this quarter and went into half time just behind the Sharks on the score board.
The third quarter was still a tough contest and the pressure wasn’t letting up. Theeran had a go in the ruck and intimidated the opposition with just his presence in the middle. Toby Clarkson who was quite early started to take over the middle of the ground getting first hands on a lot of disputed ball. Jake Ring started to burst away and the U10 Rovers that all of Bayside is talking about started to march forward with intent. Captain Tristian had some handy possessions and continued to always make a contest. Jody and Lincoln peppered the score board with behinds, while Beauy kicked 3 goals with return fire. The ball bounced end to end much of the quarter in a great contest from both teams. Dan almost kicked a goal after a hard fought effort then Campbell muscled his way through a pack for a snap goal. The ball returned to our forward zone again after hard work from the midfield. Jody handballed to Lincoln who sold a bit of candy in the pocket then kicked long to the square where Campbell showed his presence again and marked in heavy traffic. Goal number two for Campbell who is starting to play forward like his hero “Dusty #4”.
The final term was set up for a great finish between to well skilled sides. Beauy had led from the start and we had failed to get in front all day. However I told the boys that our momentum was building and we were playing each quarter better than the last. The boys all knew it was close and I reminded them that our efforts on the field just needed to last another twelve minutes. Give it all you’ve got, finish off and let’s see what happens. Both teams knew what was a stake and it was yet another tough quarter as the ball went from end to end. Raph was back in the ruck and gave clean ball to Jake, Jack and Fletcher who kept the pressure going forward. Jake ran about 40m in one clearance 30m run…bounce 10m run kick, Jake is soooooo fast no one really noticed (I smiled). The game was tight and by my very unofficial score sheet we were down by a small margin 1 or 2 points???. Time was running out in a tight match and we needed something special, someone to stand up and be counted. Today that guy was Magnus Barton, last week Magnus plucked a mark in the square rushed his kick a bit and didn’t convert. We spoke before the game one on one about taking our time when that scenario comes again, he said he would! Well the time was upon us again, a floating ball came to the forward zone and Magnus was in plumb position to take the grab and he did. About 25m out slight angle. His Dad (Assistant Coach Andrew) screamed for him to settle and kick the goal. Magnus didn’t look phased at all, he walked back calmly, lined up patiently and ensured he delivered his best kick. Bang it sailed over the pack in the square for what was to be the game winning goal and the first time Hampton hit the front all day. The best part of the whole episode was the team mob that chased Magnus to celebrate, the boys were all over Mags. It was a fantastic junior footy moment of the season, and one Magnus will no doubt never forget! Not long after the siren sounded!
Great game today, the boys were tested against another great team and it was the consistent effort all day that was the difference in the end. No one ever gave in, no one ever doubted themselves and the result just happened. Positive lesson to be learned about attitude and positive mindset.
Standout games today from Toby Clarkson, Jody Cripps, Lincoln Sharpe, Harry Ockerby, Jake Ring and Campbell Hardie. Amazing effort from Raph in the Ruck after a great week at training showing what practice can do. Magnus showed us more of his potential as a big marking forward and every boy out there showed how playing as a team and a united effort will get a great result no matter the circumstances. Proud coach today, loved every minute of it! Thanks Boys.
Thanks to Kai and Will for helping out with us today and we hope you weren’t too banged up for your game afterwards. Great game today boys you were part of a great team effort today.
GAME DAY AWARDS
Outstanding Contribution – Our Captain today, Tristan Gastevich has come across from Prahran and each week he gets more familiar with the group and shows us more of his skills. Today Tristan attacked the ball, tackled hard and made some great plays. I can see each week this boy will continue to improve and he tells me he is itching to play his old team when we get the chance.
Guts and Determination – Daniel Storey is naturally and in an under player and from memory he’s won this award a few times over the years! Today Dan got in the packs and found his own footy numerous times, he also payed some key roles in ensuring the back square was always manned and backing up his team mates. A great Rover to have on your team!
Completely Smashed it – Campbell Hardie, 2 goals up forward, big marks around the ground, chased hard when in dispute and also spent some key time in the ruck. I couldn’t go past Campbell’s overall improvement and well deserved award today.
Mark of the Day – Tom Hollingworth played his first game of footy today. At training he told me he’d played a bit at school and his mum gave me the idea he might take a while to warm up to footy. Well today he just looked like any other of our boys who has played that last few years. He attacked the ball, tackled and won the contest a few times. Tom took a few great pack marks and was so close to kicking his first goal. Very impressive first up performance today.
Coach U/10 Orange