Rovers 2.2.14 to EB 6.4.40
Goals: J Bogue (1), E Brown (1)
Our second last game of the year took us back to Castlefield, where the boys have closed out a chapter in their junior footy careers as they are unlikely to ever play there again. After watching our D4 mates battle it out in the match prior, the boys were able to gauge the conditions that were hopefully going to suit us. The northerly gale force wind blowing across the ground meant the action was never to be too be far from the coaches. The end expected to be scoring end wasn’t to be with the western end more protected from the wind proving to be the scoring end.
We were out of blocks with what has become our more recent trademark start to the game. An interesting tactic from the opposition coaches saw them with 2 extra players in defence, that they applied throughout the game (maybe we need the league to bring in the 6-6-6 rule). Our instruction was to bring the ball into the forward line from the far side , but we were unable to hit the scoreboard from several attempts. We initially repelled the East Brighton’s forward attacks through intercept marking and winning some 1-1 contests, but through some loose layers they were able to continually push the ball back into the forward line. We were unable to keep the ball out of the dangerous areas, and eventually they converted a from contested marks up forward.
We continued the hard work in the second quarter, and through persistence and forcing the ball forward hugging the boundary. A kick to the top of the square led to mad scramble and a kick of the ground to post our first goal. In what was to be our best patch of team footy, a quick follow up goal resulted from some smart forward play, and we had our chance for a 3rd to put our nose in front but missed the conversion. In a familiar plot disappointingly we conceded a late goal just before half time that gave the opposition a bit more of a buffer than they deserved.
After half time the intensity from both sides lifted, with our boys on the receiving end of some questionable treatment involving elbows and clenched fists. The frustration was getting to some of the boys as we gave away some crude free kicks that led to their only goal for the quarter. I was critical of our boys at ¾ time for responding in that way for not being able to absorb the treatment. But in hindsight they shouldn’t have to cop that treatment, and there should umpires with the experience and maturity to nip it in the butt. Players shouldn’t be coached in that way and we can’t expect 2 young umps with blue wrist bands to control these situations in such a high intensity and congested game. We just hope common sense prevails and the SMJFL makes sure that our young inexperienced umps are supported with an older more experienced ump for their own development benefit as well as for the protection of our boys who put themselves on the line each week without being adequately protected. Sorry for the rant and it is not an criticism of the young umpires, but more of a swipe at the SMJFL for allowing 2 young umpired to be unsupported.
Back to the game and the final quarter, we had some good ball movement with several forward entries but we were unable to create scoring opportunities. The ball eventually rebounded and against the run of play EB were able to score upon their first entry for the quarter, and therein lies the difference between our team and the better teams in the competition.
Maxie and his supreme clean marking display across half back and complete domination of his opponent (BOG performance Maxie!)
Kento and bold football, attacking the ball with vigour and looking for the attacking switch of play
Jules working hard at the stoppages and leading the tackle count for his team
Arch and Kai continuing to absorb the heat from the opposition, and both fought out the battle for their team to the very last contest
Jensen and his attack on the footy and his leather poisoning in the final quarter
Colby and some pinpoint passing to help get the ball out the backline
Alex and another 4 quarter effort in the ruck, but it was his work rate to push back to help the backline that resonated with his coach
Josh D continually finding the footy and making something happen for his team
Elliot surcharging through the congestion to set up the first goal, and getting on the end of the second
Jake T playing to instruction with his forward pressure, nearly capping off his work with an early shot on goal in the third
Dylan continuing to apply his defensive smarts deep in the backline reading the play well to draw his opponent under the footy
Things we Right
Too instruction we attacked via the far side of the ground at both ends, and didn’t allow the ball to get trapped in the dead corners of our attacking zones
Intensity at the ball, and winning of the contested footy
Room For Improvement
After the winning the hard balls we need to work better in numbers to clear the congestion whilst retaining possession
We need to be accountable to the players that set up behind the ball, and make sure we have the player covering their release players – not have everybody going for the contest or their ball carrier
Forwards need to present and provide the constant movement, and not allow their opponent to lead them to the ball