Our under 10 Hawkins team have come off two great performances over the last two weeks as we come up to our last two – and probably toughest contests. We started slowly against Willoughby down on the grass on Black man #4 a couple of weeks ago but fought back strongly and clearly the better team I the second half. A couple of key each way decisions had a big impact on the scoreboard and I think we were the better team on the day. Our structure was solid and we improved significantly in picking players to kick and pass too. Sometimes it didn’t quite come off but the intention and vision to look for players and secure ball position was better than in any other game this season. Alex had a great game and deservedly took out the play of the day – with a number of mark/kick combinations in both attack and defence. Nick has probably his best game of the season to receive the spirit award and was consistently strong across the ground and in all three zones. Schoey received the courage award for some high flying marks and big tackles and it was a strong team effort all round.
Last week we were then at home and came out of the blocks much better than the week before. The game was very physical and our team deserved a very hard fought win. This time we fell away a little in the last quarter, which is uncharacteristic. It may have been a result of the effort from the first three quarters but we managed to hold off a strong Willoughby finish. Sam and Cooper both took out play of the day with some amazing work, especially on the wings. Jarrod had his best game of the season and was awarded the spirit award for a great performance, especially in defence. Max was also on fire in a season best game and was the deserved recipient of the courage award. Both Jarrod and Max seemed to be everywhere making great tackles and positioning themselves well to receive marks.
Both games proved how far we have come in our structure and ability to play the ball off the ground. Our quick handpassing out of the rucks has been fantastic and we are clearing the ball well. We will need to demonstrate all these skills in our next game against Mosman, which should be the perfect game to showcase our skills!
It was another great performance by the boys, carrying on from the strong finish to last week’s game (vs Canada Bay) to put in a superb four quarter performance against St Ives Blues. Maybe it was the photo session before the game, or the focused training drills thereafter, but the boys were switched on from the first bounce.
This being our first game against St Ives, you could be forgiven for taking some time to work out the opponent. The Blues dominated the centre clearances early in the first term. However the boys responded perfectly. They first identified the main players behind it, and then went about shutting them down. In the past, it would of taken a couple of quarters to do this. This time, it was within the first term.
Once they had the opposition worked out, they started to attack. The stoppage drills we did before the game suddenly certainly helped. In the third quarter alone we had 5 or 6 centre clearances, with King tapping down to Hynes who thumped the ball deep into the forward line.
But it wasn’t just one or two dominate players that help us. I can’t remember a game when we had some many players having their best game. Byrne slammed through 3 goals in his best performance of the year, Cook continues to blossom into a hard running wing-man, Russell and Fish dominated off the half-back line and our bookends, AJ in defence and Gillard up forward, were superb.
We now have a great balance between defence and attack. To keep St Ives to only 3 goals, and to score 17 ourselves shows we have developed into a well balanced team.
The reward is second spot the ladder.
We now have two choices. The first is to glide into the end of the regular season knowing a finals spot is essentially assured. The second is to ramp up our intensity and resolve so that we go into the finals series ready to handle anything. I know which one I will be choosing.
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