Rovers 7-8-50 to EB 2-5-17
Goals: Roberts (2), Carroll (2), Bogue (1), Brown (1), Grima (1)
Coming up against new team Ashwood that we didn’t know much about, the simple objective for the encounter was for a 4 quarter effort. As we have asked the boys all year for this we broke it down to what it really means: Quarter by quarter we wanted to be able to come off the ground having given 100 % effort, in terms of pressure, work rate and contested footy. Upon the opening bounce we were sparked into action, with the clearance work of the mids and forwards showing their opponents a clean pair of heals to post an early major. Ashwood showed some clean ball movement of their own to quickly answer and it was game on for the remainder of the quarter. With our genuine marking options deep in the forward line presenting we were able to post our second major, and that was quickly followed by a third and for the first time in while we came into the ¼ time huddle with genuine momentum.
The second quarter saw the opposition lift their physical presence, and we became concerned as started to get on top in the contested footy department. They were able to break numerous tackles and their taller players around the ground started taking uncontested marks. It seemed we were heading for another dreaded second quarter fade out when they goaled early and continued to pepper the scoreboard board. We were able to regain momentum through some hardball gets, landing some important tackles and several smothering efforts that kept the ball trapped in our half. Then when we marked strongly and goaled, we were able to put the memories of the second quarters blues behind us.
In the 2nd half we emphasised the need to compete more strongly in the air, and had to continue to hold our tackles and harass and pressure the opposition. The game became locked in a tight contested battle in the third term, and thanks to our backline remaining resolute as we were able to kill the ball deep in the dangerous areas on several occasions. Through play of the day via a switch to the far wing, and long ball entry into the forward line we were able mark strongly and goal, and felt we were perhaps one goal away from breaking them. After a let off late in the quarter we came into the ¾ break with much work still to do to secure the 4 points. To the boys credit they raised tempo another notch in the last quarter keeping the opposition scoreless locking the ball effectively in our forward half for most of the quarter. After we fought hard to scrounge a goal from a stoppage at the 5 minute mark, we needed another to seal the deal and that came at the 10 min mark securing victory for the Rovers. The coaches enjoyed being able to watch the last 5 minutes in a more relaxed frame of mind, and were delighted that that we able to tick off the elusive 4 quarter effort that had been sought after all year.
Highlights (plenty when you have 20 contributors!)
- Ted McK competing strongly on his wing taking numerous strong overheard marks and hitting the ground running
- Kai covering more ground than the early settlers, not only winning lots of footy for his team but leading the way with his pressure and harassment
- Jules leading the tackle count for his team often bringing down a bigger bodied opponents, showing how not to be brushed aside
- Arch for sparking his team into action in his forward role breaking away from his opponent for 2 first quarter goals
- Elliot breaking away from the stoppages with several run and carry burst runs
- Kyle with several desperate efforts to win some contested footy including a lifting smoother preventing an important clearance kick to where the opposition had numbers
- Maxie for firstly being selfless to play after being ill, and providing his team a genuine marking tall up forward with the stretched out dukes
- Alex for another lion-hearted performance in the ruck, including responding to instruction by restricting his opponent in the air around the ground
- Nicho back to his ground sweeping rebound best deep in the back half with exquisite ball use at times
- Maso and his desire for the contested footy, often coming off the line to impact the centre bounce contests, making life easier for the ground ball gatherers
- Lachie and Jake Gr both moving well and finding space in the forward half, with Lachie showing his opponent a clean pair of heals and Jake capping off his good work with the match sealer.
- Paddy and Josh N applying relentless pressure in the forward half as well as putting their body on the line to impact the contests
- Josh B marking strongly and slotting through an important goal in the third term – must also mention an earlier hard fought free, and loved his confidence to back himself from a set shot from 50+ metres
- Jenson and Jake T for their smart reading of the play across half back, intercept works and ball usage to advantage
- Dylan and Louis and their dour and disciplined defending of their marking talls, as well as working hard to provide leading options from our kickouts
Things we did well
- Winning the 1-1 contests at ground level
- Hard running and work rate particularly from the mids
- Pressure and harassing the opposition, particular in response to having had several tackles brushed aside
Room for Improvement (RFI’s)
- Competing more strongly in the air with body on body with our taller opponents and use of fist in the air
- To make the most of momentum, and not allow the opposition to regain it through physicality (start of the second q)