Rovers 9-8-62 Defeated Waverley Park Hawks 3-1-19
Back at the Boss James, the Div 5 soldiers went head to head against a strong Waverley Hawks team, who beat us last time we met. Again, a day low on numbers, we needed the boys to step up and carry more than their own today, for any chance of us winning the game.
A side of 18 on the field, none on the bench however, was our first challenge. Paddy T came in for his first game of the season since being injured, and jeez did he star in that first quarter. You could tell he was itching to get back out and play, he got hungrier sitting on the sidelines and got his opportunity to return and did it in style. Two awesome goals and plenty of it for the day. (Editors Note – Just ask his Dad how he felt about his first goal?!) Our forwards were devastating in the first quarter too, and Jake ‘Mr Reliable’ G also helped and kicked a nice snag. Our mid’s followed their kick and gave us more numbers at the contest, lead brilliantly by Jordan B. Our backs also pressed well and were able to run back on that defensive angle to support the middle and their long kick out. We got ahead early, leading 35 – 0 after 15 mins.
The boys, not satisfied yet, knew that was only just one quarter. We needed to win the next three to secure the win. Waverley snuck a goal in, just due to us being slightly slow to react from their forward entry. Big clutch efforts from Jake M and Harrison S on the last line of defense, saving a couple goals for the day each for sure. Ben D also orchestrated the back six, getting them into the best positions to hold the press.
Waverley were definitely shaken, and could not cleanly dispose the ball properly all day. We gave them so much heat with our pressure that they couldn’t even beat us when they had more numbers at the contest. The 1v2 and 1v3 efforts from Josh N and James Mc made them look soft, as these boys, and others, won the ball with ease. It was interesting actually. We, the coaches, were almost waiting for Waverley to score through our press so we could send a message out to say to bring the press back slightly, as we were outnumbered out the back. But even in these 1v3 contests of ours, they still couldn’t get a goal!!! Therefore we didn’t end up changing the process. Against a more composed Waverley team, they may have punished us a bit more, but our contest game was outstanding all day.
As you can expect, the dual threat of run and gunners Nick K and Xavier G were explosive and flicked dust into Waverley’s eyes. Lucas C stood up in the last quarter too, found some form and almost kicked goal of the year. We ended up winning 3 quarters and drawing one, but inevitably it was the first quarter that won it for us. A super effort that is now rewarded with a week off. Thank you to the extra boys who stepped us and helped us out on the day due to low numbers.
Things we did well:
– Fierce at the contest
– Won/halved air contest
– Scoreboard pressure (shots = goals)
Things we can improve on:
– More regular headchecks (knowing where our direct opponent is while being in the press)
– Life and death 100% of the time on defense (the only times we weren’t life and death they kicked a goal)