It was a tremendous morning with partly cloudy skies at the Rovers home ground. All the kids had arrived on time and ready to play. It was safe to say the mood was excited, the boots were almost stomping through the floor in the team room! Coach Sam handed out the wristbands and explained the things to remember for the game. Feet, Fun, Fast, Fair and Friendly was the message. Super-excited, the kids ran out to the oval for warmup with some cartwheels appearing!
Q1 – Straight away Highett showed us they were here to play! They cleared the ball quickly and moved it through to their forwards. Harvey was strong in defence with a solid mark – remembering his training – “mark, push back and kick quickly to free space”. After the initial rush the Rovers were able to calm down and clear the ball from the midfield – Hudson D, Josh and Ernie working very hard to get the ball forward. Hudson D took a big hit and went down hard but true to form the Rovers made sure he was ok before he took his free kick. Highett just kept pushing forward and Hudson V, Thomas and Harvey were working hard in defence. Just as the siren sounded Josh took a strong mark to stop the Highett forwards.
Coach Sam reminded us at the break that we need to focus on our handballs, keep our feet and clean hands. Look after our team mates, fast kicking and run hard.
Q2 – Rovers cleared the ball quickly with Jack giving the Highett defence something to worry about. Wonderful running by Ernie with a handball to Fraser and Archer kicking to Owen showed Highett we had remembered our training! Owen kicking up to Fraser again in the forward pocket really tested Highett’s defence. Hunter’s handball to Owen again opened up the opportunities to the Rovers while strong defence from Tom and a great mark from Harvey stopped Highett in their tracks! Highett was marking strong but the Rovers were really keeping up the pressure especially with great tackles from Hannah.
At halftime the oranges were a huge hit. Coach Sam figured that shifting Poppy up front and swapping with Hunter would make a huge difference. Remember the training and have fun says the coach.
Q3 – Highett immediately pushed forward. Ernie, Harvey and Hudson V were having none of that and kept clearing the ball back to the midfield. Jack marked and pushed back exactly like his training and Fraser was clever with the ball trying to get it forward to Poppy however Highett’s last line of defence was covering her strongly up front. In one of the best plays of the game, Elijah handballed to Fraser, who kicked it to Casper for a mark, who pushed back and kicked it forward to Jack showed a great demonstration of skills! Particularly listening skills because this is exactly what the Coach said to do! Strong pressure from Casper, Hunter and Elijah really tested the Highett back line, while Hannah’s tackles continued to cause problems for Highett.
At ¾ time Rovers were reminded to be careful with their tackles. Coach told the team to push back and line up the kicks up front. No snaps at goal please! Be strong in the midfield. Hold the mark and kick to space. Run around like crazy was the call!
Q4 – the Rovers shone bright! Tommy, Hudson D, Carter and Hunter seemed to create the “Great Wall of Hampton” in the midfield and nothing was getting past them. Strong marks, push back and big kicks to space made sure that the Rovers forwards always got the ball and were able to attack with Poppy, Fraser, Arch and Harvey adding heaps of pressure. Every time Highett’s defence cleared the ball they could not make it past the “midfield wall”. Rovers forwards were running for the mark and clean handballs made sure the ball kept going forward!
The 4th quarter was really impressive with the Rovers showing their skills and training – thinking about what the Coach had said. The Highett Forwards never saw the ball that whole quarter and Rovers proved to be too strong. The final Siren rang and the kids were very tired, but very happy. The Rovers congratulated Highett on such a great game and friendly handshakes and high fives were traded with the other team.