Another beautiful day for football and we were away against Mordialloc Braeside hoping to continue the good form the boys displayed in the 4th quarter last week.
Gideon and James were our co-captains today – well done boys!
We got off to a great start in the first quarter, dominating the play. The poor backline didn’t see much of the ball in the first 15 minutes. We asked Will to start deep in the forward 40 and run and create chances in that space – he delivered in spades through the whole game and registered our first goal early in the quarter.
Nikko got his hands on the ball not long after and took a shot at goal from a difficult position. Unfortunately, he didn’t kick the goal but he helped create opportunities for his team mates. James was in everything early up forward and looked like he was going to kick his second goal for the club.
Bailey Mitchell was working hard on the wing providing plenty of run and laying effective tackles on boys much bigger than himself. Bailey Stewart had a fantastic game, starting with the first quarter – he was laying tackles, getting to the bottom of packs and delivering some rocket handpasses to our advantage from some very tight positions. Bailey S capped off his great work with our second goal of the quarter.
The boys were all applying immense pressure on Mordy Brae, no better example of it shown by Zac who put on a really big smother during the first term. Hugo came onto the field half way through the quarter and had a purple patch of possession playing as ruck rover, Harry W’s presence was also felt immediately with his introduction into the game at the same time.
Mordy Brae came out to play in the second quarter and we were challenged. However, the boys kept up the pressure and Jake S got us on the board early with a great goal. Matty G was in the ruck and got his hands on the ball a number of times. Oscar and Gideon were running very hard and dominating from the midfield and both Ollie and Zac were providing great rebounding off half back. Charlton’s first half on the ball was amazing – he started in the ruck, which he controlled, before playing ruck rover and proving his clearance ability isn’t limited to winning the ball in the air.
Harry B was a terrier inside our forward 40 (and later around the ground) consistently applying enormous pressure to opponents much bigger than him and winning a lot of his own ball. Harry W had more than warmed up and was having a great influence on the game, continually driving the ball forward into dangerous positions.
Will was untouchable in the forward line, his elusiveness continues to impress. Will looked likely to score every time he stepped near the ball and it wasn’t long before he kicked his second goal with a wonderful kick from the pocket.
Matt C was playing another tight game up back, showing great accountability at all times. Despite his best efforts, Mordy Brae managed to get one back but we held the ascendency at half time.
Our rotations continued in the third term and Nikko moved into the ruck where he competed strongly, getting his hands on the ball. Thomas Phillips had been working incredibly hard all game and continued this in the third. He was applying some great tackles, reading the play and getting plenty of the ball.
We love to see the boys never giving up, and Zac provided us with an inspiring example by chasing down a boy and catching him in the middle, preventing the ball entering the Mordy Brae forward line and turning it over to enable another Rovers attacking entry.
Wes once again popped up in a cluster of players to take a good mark about 20 metres out, on a 45 degree angle. He calmly went back and put it straight through the middle. Not long after this, Stefan took a mark out near centre half forward. With the wind at his back, he did exactly what we are asking of the forwards and went back and took a long range shot – a great kick but just faded and went through for a point.
Mordy provided plenty of fight and were putting a lot of pressure on our backline. Tobey showed on a couple of occasions the dash and strength he has as he swept the ball up in a pack pushed off an opponent and drove the ball back to the wing. Max had been terrific all game and he and Robbie worked very hard, ensuring we remained accountable and not allowing Mordy Brae any loose players in the attacking 40. We conceded a couple of goals in the third, with Mordy Brae closing the gap and making it a close contest.
Mordy’s good form continued at the start of the last quarter when we conceded one final goal, which closed the margin to only 4 points. To the credit of everyone of our boys we showed great resilience and perseverance sticking to what had been working all day – plenty of pressure, run and teamwork.
We controlled the game from this point, immediately replying with a goal to Thomas, who had run down from half back. Not long after, Gideon beautifully crumbed the ball off a pack about 25 metres from goal, ran around an opponent and kicked a banana goal.
This form continued with Will continuing to run hard to get to the ball. He was rewarded for his hard work, kicking his third of the game in an outstanding all-round forward’s game. Mordy Brae had another attack in them and looked dangerous with three players around the ball at their centre half forward area – then enter Jake Fix who used his body beautifully to crash the pack of three, skittling them and rebounding the ball back to our advantage.
The ball was once again in our forward line where Ollie found himself in the left forward pocket running away from goal. He pulled out some special moves from his bag of tricks to turn his opponent inside out and took a great snap at goal which was marked by Wes on the goal line. Wes went back and calmly converted. A few minutes later Harry W capped off a brilliant game by running through the centre, driving the ball long into our forward line to Wes who was on fire. Unfortunately, Wes pulled his kick at goal, but the boys were playing some classic football.
The final goal of the game was a beauty. Will popped up again, gained possession of the ball in a pack in our forward 40, got a great hand pass out to Gideon who ran around two opponents and slotted it straight through the middle.
The boys are playing better team football every week as they all get to know each other’s strengths. It’s great to have a win on the board, it was certainly well deserved. Congratulations boys!
It was terrific feeling for all the boys to sing the song back in the rooms – we had 9 boys in the middle of our circle who were singing the song for the first time. I’m sure they will get many more opportunities as the year goes on.
See you all at training. Don’t forget to touch your football 100 times each day!
Damo, Chris and Rod
Hampton Rovers – Best Mates