We turned up on a barmy Sunday morning, to play Willoughby Cameron on a Blackman oval. The game was tough but at the end of the day we were wrong end of the scoreboard.
This week we tackled our hearts out as a team and picked up a number well deserved free kicks for the pressure we applied. A stand out in the game was Aaron’s bustling goal line defence, shrugging off a couple of tackles and getting the ball down field an inspirational moment and one Aaron and the team can take into our next match. It was also pleasing to see the new members of the team get amongst it.
We continue to break down when we have the ball in the forward line and are failing to mark up against our opponents in the centres and defence.
This week at training we are going to practice our centre set up and effective use of the ball when we have possession.
Our aim for the game against Manly is to bring our quick moving game and tackling and to take control in the centre.
Selwood coaching staff
Our second game in a row against a Willoughby team was going to be psychologically tough but playing on our training pitch was going to be more like a home game than an away one.
In true Hawkins style our defence was incredible. Angus set the pace for passion and commitment and helped lift us out of a sluggish start. Cooper and Lachie were as tenacious and energetic as always and Mac and Max provided real stability in the fast paced action.
It was however a tale of two halves. Our sluggish start was turned around in the third quarter and as a team we lifted. Alex and Jaeden started to find targets with their kicks and capitalise on the ground they were finding in attack. Sam worked the wings amazingly well (despite a broken finger) and Daniel made huge ground through the middle of the field regularly.
Darcy and Emma were as strong in defence as always and got the ball out of traffic and to a team mate to swing the momentum of play our way when the opposition looked in control. Nick and Charles played with great heart and never gave up the chase and Jarrod showed plenty of skill again with both kicking and marking. James ran himself into the ground again with a determination that matched Angus.
The end result was an unofficial draw but left us all wondering what could have been if we started better! We had practised using the tacking bag to try to lift the adrenalin pre-game but we obviously need to find another way to fire the players up for the first quarter. Our other development areas remain contested marking and finding a target to kick to rather than just kicking as long as we can an hoping someone gets under it!
Those pesky black cats! We must of crossed one during the week as we had boys going down left, right and centre. With only 10 regular players available for selection, we relied on a couple of U11 boys to get an official game going against Mosman Swans. This was also the first in two consecutive encounters between the top two teams in the competition, so tensions were high.
With Strassberg and Fenton out, the defensive deck had to be reshuffled. However, aided by U11 star Max Negri, they didn’t miss a beat and kept the Swans scoreless until the last second of the first quarter. At the same time, our forwards started strongly, kicking four goals in the first quarter. If it wasn’t for a few wayward shots, we would of been much further in front.
Gillard and Hynes’ strong contested marking continues to provide a great focal point for our midfielders. Dixon’s improvement also shows no bounds. His attack on the ball, and those second and third efforts are something even the more experienced players could take lessons from. On a hot day, this type of effort was worth its weight in gold.
The quick ball movement and relentless pressure eased in the second half as conditions took their toll. Down to only 11 players (against 12), the game become a much more defensive slog. However there were also too many players who thought one effort was all that was required. This game is all about willing yourself to the next contest, and under better conditions, we could of been exposed. This will be an area we will continue to focus on in coming weeks.
However in the end, the boys ran out easy 47 points winners. A great effort overall.
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