Rovers : 4-4-28 drew with Beaumaris 4-4-28
Goals : Civitarese (1), Giampa(1), Howell(2)
The Rover’s D5 team were rewarded for a excellent start to their season by being elevated to D4. Their first match was going to be competitive, playing the same Beauy team that beat them handily last year and whom had won a few games in D4 already. But given the teams’s improved play so far this year, we rated ourselves a good chance.
With a late withdrawal, the team started with no bench then, just a few minutes into the game, were down a player due to injury. The forward-line was remodelled with dual spear-heads, and the forwards pressured well to limit easy rebounds for the opposition. Compared to D5, the speed of the game in D4 was evident, with immediate pressure and limited time for disposal. With both teams playing team-oriented defense, the first quarter ended without a major.
The second quarter started off with the Rovers ascendant, rebounding from half-back and spending much of the time in their forward half. With the umpires swallowing their whistles, the Rovers swarmed around the ball, not allowing Beauy to get an easy kick. The Rovers’ reward were two goals to none at the half.
Beauy bounced back in the third, raising their intensity and getting first ball use, leading to their first goal. The Rovers kept rebounding from the backline and pushing through the midfield, and were able to extend the lead by a goal at the final change.
With everything to play for, Beauy found an extra gear in the fourth and began to harry the Rovers with good pressure. Their larger players began to take the game-on, with clearing runs and kicks. The Rovers held on with all their might, but the opposition were able to kick a couple of quick goals before the Rovers could regroup. Beauy went ahead on the scoreboard by a point, and were looking to close the game out over the flagging Rovers. To their credit, the Rovers didn’t roll over, but instead pushed forward again, tying the score and threatening again when the final siren sounded.
Despite their utter exhaustion the Rovers demonstrated their best qualities when under pressure and under-manned. They focused on winning their individual contests, supporting their mates, stopping the opposition, and never giving up. Hat’s off to all the boys for a great effort.
- Playing the majority of the game with only 17 on the ground, the Rovers did their jumper and their families proud, with a gutsy effort against a taller, stronger side that rotated continually throughout the game. The players gave their all, and were dead on their feet at the end.
- Golden fist award, backed-up by ferocious tackling and desperate play in the backline, goes to Ben F.
- Goal of the year (so far) to Lucas C, running into the pocket, on his preferred left, and rolling one in from 30m out. It will take something special to beat that one!
- Fantastic passage of play that scored our first goal, starting with Billy M, to Jack G to Marco G and goal!
- Oli H starring in the midfield, continually pushing the ball forward, up to the final siren.
- James McN, with another quality game off half-back, combining clearing kicks,
- Matteo’s line-breaking runs on the wing, and somewhat unorthodox tackling technique on the bigger opposition (but quite effective)
Things we did well
- Focusing on the ball, respecting the umpires, and not getting distracted by the opposition.
- Continuous run & carry, playing to our strengths of speed & skill.
- High intensity tackling of the opposition, irrespective of their size.
- Manning-up the opposition during their kick-outs and locking the ball in the forward line, despite playing 1 man short.
Room for Improvement (RFI’s)
- Left foot kicks under pressure. This is a season-long improvement program, all the boys should be practicing their non-preferred foot whenever they kick the footy.
- Organization of our kick-ins. Provide better options to the full-back by timing our runs, running into space and avoiding standing still. We’ll work on that this week.
- Switching to the fat side. Too much lane work plays to the opposition’s strength of tall marking options. Kick to player leading into space, even if it is sideways.