Rovers : 1.2.8 lost Bears 14.12.96
Goals : Brodie J (1)
With the team at bare-minimum numbers this weekend, it was always going to be a tough game for Rovers. Before the bounce, the Bears kindly offered to have one of their players, Ozzie, don the Rovers jumper, which gave us 15 to start the game. On ground as big as the Boss, we also greatly appreciated the arrival of some U12 players to fill our ranks during the game. Even though we had to play one short for the game, the Rovers were ready to go.
The Rovers started with great intensity, pushing the ball forward with the wind, but the Bears were well organised, playing their extra man in defence. The Bears pressured the Rovers to rush their kicks, and as a result the Rovers were unable to link multiple possessions together. At the quarter time, it was Bears ahead by 3 goals, with the Rovers yet to score.
The second quarter was an improvement over the first, with the Rovers starting to use their run to move the ball into the wind. But the Bears were able to get unmarked players into their forward line, resulting in some easy goals. The Rovers let themselves down with lack of pressure when the Bears had the ball, and it it showed on the scoreboard.
The Rovers had a much better start to the third quarter, helped by reinforcements from the U12s. We started to link handballs and kicked longer with the wind. The team-wide effort was rewarded with the Rovers first goal (which was a beauty, see below).
Despite playing against the wind and running out of legs due to no bench in the last quarter, the Rovers continued to work hard. There were a number of exciting plays where the Rovers ran as a bunch, moving the ball by hand and foot into the forward line. Unfortunately the Bears continued to score in the opposite direction, so the result was never in doubt.
It was a tough game for the Rovers, but it contained valuable lessons for each player, and we will reflect on the game and what we can do to improve as individuals and as a team when we return after the winter break.
- Jake M’s defensive pressure and rebound running was a joy to watch. His kicking has improved enormously this year, and he has added lots of footy nous to his game in the backline.
- Ben D’s huge tackle and free kick awarded at half-forward. He then kicked to the hot spot 30m out from goal, where Brodie J roved the ball and snapped truly for the Rover’s only goal for the game. It was a thing of beauty!
- Jack G’s unrewarded run from half back to the forward pocket, presenting himself as an option as Rovers surged forward. Soon after, he was involved in a play where we scored. Great gut running, Jack.
- Billy’s run-n-carry across the wing pushed the ball forward. He was dangerous throughout the game, and he didn’t stop running for 4 quarters.
Things we did well
- Gut running. Running when you are tired is hard to do, but the Rovers are learning how to push their bodies to keep running throughout the game.
- Tackling pressure. In the cauldron of the contested ball, the Rovers tackled hard to cause turn-overs and free kicks.
- Positive attitude. Despite being undermanned and outgunned, the Rovers didn’t give up, playing to the final siren.
Room for Improvement (RFI’s)
- Kicking off the round. We’ve talked about it enough, and we are learning to make the right decision to take possession of the ball. But we still kick off the ground too often when not under pressure, resulting in 50/50s.
- Look before you kick. Kicking to our advantage is only possible when we see where we are kicking. Sometimes we’ve just got to get ball on foot due to opponent pressure, but for all other times, look before you kick.
- Kick to the hot spot. When goals are hard to come-by, we need to make good quality decisions, especially in the forward line. When we kicked to the pockets, we scored points. When we kicked to the hot spot, we scored a goal. A good lesson for us to remember for future weeks.