Rovers 5-4-34 to EB 13-9-87
Goals: Teal (2), Roberts (1), Sims (1) M Carrigan (1),
We put it on the boys to be motivated by the challenge of coming up against an undefeated team. We felt the Vampires were perhaps ripe for a loss coming off a draw last week, if we able to put our very best footy together for 4 quarters. With some late withdrawals prior to the game we were down to the bare 18. Whilst the Rovers started the game with intent, from early on the strengths of the opposition were evident with their slick quick ball movement and ability to chip the ball around retaining possession until a scoring opportunity presented. Whilst the Vampires posted the first major, the Rovers quickly answered through some slick movement of their own. The Vampires took control for the remainder of the quarter with their run and spread, and seemed like every time they put boot to ball for a shot on goal, it seemed to funnel its way through the big sticks. A late Rovers goals after winning some 1 on 1 contests steadied the ship coming into quarter time.
The second quarter hasn’t been our finest (1/4 of an) hour throughout the year, and this week wasn’t any different. We were working hard early on, but were unable to kill the ball or force a stoppage when the ball was deep in our back half. The ball was kept alive that inevitably led to scoring opportunities for the Vampires. Conceding another 4 goals to nil for the quarter, it was hard to fathom how we were going to plug the holes. In the back of my mind I was deeply concerned about what might occur in the second half, but with the simple message to focus on pressure and accountability, we responded with what was clearly our best quarter of footy for the year. It started in the middle with the clearance work of the midfielders, and the forward line responding with constructive leading and movement. With back to back goals within the first 5 minutes, the Rovers had sparked some serious momentum. This included Colby kicking a team inspiring goal, but soon thereafter he went down with an ankle injury and we were down to 17 men. The Vampires were able to answer with one against the run of play, but when we marked and goaled late in the quarter we felt to score 3 goals and win the quarter against arguably the best side in the comp when we were facing adversity was a credit to our boys character and persistence.
It what felt like a familiar ¾ time message, we wanted to instil the self-belief that if we were able to continue the style of play and hard work from the 3rd quarter, even though we were down to 17 men we could gradually work our way back into he contest. We were engaged in the contest and working hard and threatened with some scoring opportunities, but were unable to post the elusive first goal of the term. When the Vampires eventually struck, the weary Rovers started to drop off the pace and the scoreboard started looking unkind, but we all felt the end score line was not indicative of how the overall game was played (geez I’m getting sick of using that line, and no doubt you are sick of reading it!). With one game to focus on against new kid on the block Ashwood before a well-earned QB weekend breather, we are hoping for a genuine 4 quarter performance of hard Rover footy for this coming Sunday afternoon.
- Lachie up forward gave us the moving target that we were hoping for, capped off with 2 goals from his preparedness to work hard
- Elliot for his inspiring 3rd term and clearance work from the middle, helped by Maxie’s tap work and follow up support
- Colby for his twisting and turning and inspirational goal (unfortunately he went down 2 min later with a nasty ankle injury – hope to see you back on the track soon young man!)
- Ted and his winning of several important one on one contests, giving his team advantage
- Maso and his launch at the contest to mark strongly and thump the ball from 40m to post an important goal for his team late in the third
- Jules enjoying his extended stint on the ball leading the way with pressure acts and hard ball gets
- Paddy proving to be livewire up forward winning his share of the contested footy
Things we did well
- Scoring power up forward looked more threatening with movement and directing the footy to players moving into space
- Clearance work from the stoppages, including support with blocking and shepherding when we won the ball
- Unrewarded tackling efforts – the holding the ball adjudication continues to have us scratching our head, but all we can do is continue to ply our trade
Room for Improvement (RFI’s)
- 2 way running, particular when the opposition won the stoppages or when there was a turn over (transition running)
- Inability to kill the ball across the boundary or force the stoppage when the ball was deep in our backline, leading to several scoring pot shots from the opposition
- Setting up around the ground at boundary throw ins – need to cover all exits, particularly over the back we seemed to get exposed