Rovers 6.15.51 def Mordi-Brae 3.3.21
Goals : Howell (2), Civitarese (1), Di Pietrantonio (1), Giblin (1), Karamitos (1)
The game against Mordi-Brae had all the hallmarks of a “statement” game, with both teams undefeated coming into the game, and looking to see how they stacked-up against another quality team. From the outset, the intensity was high, with both teams pressuring each other across the ground. The umpires let the play run, so there was plenty of hotly contested possessions for both sides.
Each quarter was an arm wrestle, with the Rovers edging slightly ahead by having each player commit to team-first football: manning-up in defence, running hard in the midfield, and contesting for every possession in the forward line. Much of the game was played in the forward lines, with fast transitions from both sides. The Rovers peppered the goals at times, and threatened to break-open the game in the third quarter, but were unable to convert many of their opportunities, due to good opponent pressure and wayward kicking under pressure.
At the final break, the players were clearly tired, but were encouraged to work hard for one more quarter, and focus on winning each contest. With the opposition pressuring hard, the Rovers withstood the attention and played good contested footy until the final whistle. The win was a just reward for the team, who worked hard to get the hard ball, running hard when attacking and getting back to shore-up the defence. A good all-round effort.
This coming week is our last grading game, and looks to be another great challenge for the boys. With both Rovers and Cheltenham undefeated with strong percentages, the Rovers need to have a good week of training and prepare diligently for the weekend’s game.
- Oli H directing traffic from the centre, then moving forward and kicking a few beautiful sausage rolls.
- Xavier G with lots of run and carry, and Mac V competing hard in the ruck in their first games for Rovers.
- Heath D backing himself to chase-down and clear the ball in the from deep in defense.
- Oli A with a great momentum-changing smother, and pressuring the opposition on the wing then backing into defense.
- Billy M under every pack, working non-stop to get the contested ball. As the game wore on, he got better and better.
- Ben D with hard running, excellent positioning in defense, and gorilla-grip tackles that shut down opposition forwards.
- Brodie working off half-back to repel opposition advances, showing the opposition a clean set of heels.
- James, Heath and Billy communicating effectively in the backline to ensure all opposition players were covered.
- Matteo, sporting a stylish hand brace, running hard and kicking long into the forward-line, setting-up multiple scoring opportunities. Took a big hit in play, then bounced back and got back into it!
Things we did well
- pressure across the ground. All players were involved in putting pressure on their opponents, keeping the ball in our forward line, or turning-over the ball in the mid-field, or rebounding the ball out of defense.
- playing to the whistle. This was initially an RFI, but when the players were reminded at half-time to keep playing until the umpires stopped the game, they did a great job for the rest of the game.
- communication in the backline, ensuring all players were manned-up, especially at stoppages.
Room for Improvement (RFI)
- spoiling/punching in marking duels when out of position or with taller opponents. This applies to everyone, but especially the defensive group.
- choosing the first option when under pressure. In a high-pressure game, the first option is usually the best.
- kicking truly through the big sticks in general play when under pressure.