A drizzly grey Melbourne Autumn day greeted us for our first game of 2019, but our spirits couldn’t be higher. The boys were very excited to be playing their first ever game of football and all parents, officials and volunteers were equally eager to see the boys have a great game.
We had the privilege to open the new clubrooms at Castlefield and what great facilities they are!!
As the kids arrived, the coffee van started to kick into gear to get the parents bright-eyed and ready to go to cheer on the game on the first proper cold weekend of the year.
Our two captains, Lachie and Cooper, won the toss and elected to kick with the breeze down to the big sticks for the first quarter. They both went on to demonstrate their excellent leadership on the ground for the game.
Our opponents for the day were East Sandy, who always put up a great contest and one that our Rovers boys were more than ready to match.
The first quarter got off to a great start with Tom working hard to get to the ruck clearance and then driving a penetrating kick into the forward line where Darcy, Lachie and Lewis worked hard to keep it there. George was then able to work into the contest, find space, and kicked an excellent opening goal to much cheer and delight.
The remainder of the quarter was hard fought throughout with the opportunity for all zones to be involved in the play. Everyone picked up an opposition player ensuring there were no easy possessions. The backs were strong, with Cooper taking a couple of important marks in defence and Charlie H, Harvey and Harrison N helping to drive back into attack.
The second quarter was tougher back into the breeze. The backs were put under pressure but held up strongly with Xavier taking some good contested marks to stop the incoming attack and Kieran reading the play well to close down space in defence. The tackling was a highlight, with Freddie laying three consecutive tackles on three different players at one stage, but there were many examples around the ground.
Liam H, Jock and Marlon were able to find space, by running and moving to setup good passages of play further upfield.
In the third quarter, Charlie Q kicked a ripper goal with it taking a couple of end over end bounces, then bouncing over two of the East Sandy defenders to score – a real highlight!
The boys in the final quarter were again challenged by the boys from East Sandy putting on a lot of forward pressure. The midfield and the backline had to work overtime to close down options whilst still taking the opportunities to drive the ball out into space to setup some good running play down the lines.
It was an excellent game, played with great spirit, plenty of talk, encouragement and a fantastic team effort across the four quarters. I’m super proud of the boys and look forward to training this week and our game week against East Brighton.