Yet another perfect day greeted us at Wilston Grange and an opportunity to really see how far we have come as a team as we play the side 2nd on the ladder. As we have mentioned the previous weeks results would have opposition teams wondering what are they up against from a side who are 7th on the ladder but proving a tough challenge against the top sides.
We had hurdles to jump even before the game had started with teammates falling by the way side due to illness and some who it appears are finding that total commitment a little too hard to handle. One of those rare occasions happened that even with a squad of 28 we could only field 20 and not all those 20 were a 100% but they pushed themselves for the sake of the team and a couple of teammates and families also got off their sick beds to support their boys and their team.
I didn’t think we could have prepared better for this game and from the first bounce our body language and focus was purely on the job. Our onballers once again gave us opportunities by winning the ball out of the middle and the workman like pressure that was applied in the forward line was what every coach dreams of. Liam, Jacko, Jakey V, Driffo, Hanning and Furness work tirelessly in the middle and the forwards, lead by Pittle and Cester presented themselves beautifully. With them committing themselves, this meant the mozzie brigade of both Cantlins, Chucky and Jacob, AJ, Jedda, JD and Sandsy were able to crumb and compete and force scoring chances because of the relentless pressure they applied. This enabled us to go into the first break with a six point lead after majors by Pittle and Liam in the first quarter.
Needless to say Grange was a little shocked, but little did they realize that it was to get worse. The defensive work of Bailey, Ely, Sands, Carlson, Rowlands, Paszek and Martin enabled us to continually push forward and repel any forward thrusts they had and we managed to keep them scoreless for the second quarter and kick another 2 majors ourselves. One each to our part time full forwards in Tylor Cester and Jacko who were changing from rover to full forward all day. Our half time lead of 19 points was just reward for effort.
Enter the fast improving Tigers tenacity and will power and the so called premiership quarter was to determine the game. We tackled, chased, ran and positioned ourselves in the right spots and every player competed when it was their turn to do so. For the first time this year every player played the game and didn’t watch the game. All players who spent time on the bench, Jedda, JD, Sandsy, Connor, Jacob made the most of each opportunity they got. Jedda and JD each played major parts in creating goals purely due to effort and involving themselves when the team needed them too. Grange managed only one point in the 3rd quarter while we piled on another 3 majors through a couple to Driffo and one to Liam. A 38 point lead with one quarter to go and while Grange kicked the last two goals the tigers had done their job and the scoreboard indicated the rewards the boys had so richly deserved.
Fantastic effort by the whole team but a special mention to Josh Hanning who played one of the best games I have seen from an individual this year. With the rest just let me say I could make a case for each player to feel pretty good about their input so well done boys.
To those who witnessed this game I hope it gave you as much satisfaction as it gave me and Storm. I have raved about our development and what we have learned about ourselves and footy as well as the team we have become. If you must judge the club, us coaches and our tactics and the decisions we make or even the players, then I hope you judge it on what you saw today and compare it to where we have come from and what challenges we have battled to get here. Be proud. I sure am.
Thank you to all of our volunteer helpers who continually put their hands up to help and actually be part of the team and experience what we experience firsthand.
I look forward to the next challenge that awaits us, Ferny Grove at Ferny Grove next Sunday at 1.30pm. Yet another top 5 side. Bring it on.
I look forward to Monday nights gradings.
Redcliffe 4.2.26 def by Kenmore 6.8.44
Goals: Jack Roney 3, Josh Patching 1.
Best:Jack Roney, Brodie Mizzi, Ryan O’Shea, Lachlan Baynes, Billy Bryant, Connor Bloss.
Today the Tigers U12’s were at home, pitted against Kenmore, who had dropped down a division, from div 2 to div 3. Obviously being good enough to get themselves into division 2 at the start of the year we knew that it would be a good test for our boys to see how they matched up.
After a solid performance against Aspley the week before our focus at training was too continue to have our boys back playing with confidence in both themselves and their teammates and to continue to move the ball quickly.
Unfortunately the old adage “you play the way you train “was evident in our boys at the start of Today’s game. We had been a bit lazy and not switched on at our Wednesday training and also that was noticeable in our pre game warm up. The coaching staff impressed upon the boys before the game the need to keep concentration and play the game rather than spectate it. And also we encouraged them to start the game strongly and not get caught playing catch up.
Our first quarter was disappointing for the fact we did get caught spectating and also got behind, not only in general play, but on the scoreboard. They were a side with quite a few boys a lot bigger than some of our side but that doesn’t mean you go less hard at the football, and the fact was we were playing with 2 extra players as they were playing with no interchange which meant we should have been able to outrun our opposition.
Today we looked by far the slower team for most of the first half which itself is disappointing considering I would consider our boys to be the fittest in the competition. We all know however, no matter how fit you are you will always look slower if you are led to the football by your opponent or if you panic with the football and make bad decisions that result in the football being turned over in areas of the ground that put your defense under constant pressure. That is how it was for our first half today.
Half time gave us the chance to regroup and once again our boys showed that they do have the desire and the will to fight games out and not roll over. Our third quarter was a great example of how this team can play if they have confidence to move the ball quickly and trust the teammates around them to be there for them. We took control of the opposition players who were causing us the most trouble and began to have the confidence to take the game on in the third quarter and through sheer hard work got ourselves back into the contest.
The coaching staff could sense that we would finish full of running and that our opposition looked quite tired but again some decision making errors caused turnovers which resulted in Kenmore getting the first goal of the last quarter rather than us, helping them to steady and deflating our players quite noticeably.
One quarter of football is never going to be enough to win you a game but I would still like to acknowledge the games of some of our players. After threatening for the last few weeks, and teasing us with some small pieces of play, Jack Roney today put together four quarters of excellent forward play, looking at all times our most likely to kick goals. It bought back memories of his fantastic finals series last year and is something we hope continues on this year again!!
Of course all the usual suspects played at the level we continue to expect from them. I speak, of course, about Ryan, Declan, Lachlan, Brodie, Connor and Curtis and while we should expect the games we get from these guys, the challenge to everyone else is to bring themselves up to that level as well. And it is not just about skill level it is also about the desire to want the football, to go and find it and win it for our team whether it is them that gets their hands on it or if they sacrifice themselves so their teammates win the ball.
Well done again boys!! Someone who is also beginning to take great strides this year is Billy Bryant who from a slow start is beginning to turn into a valuable utility with the ability to take contested marks and provide a contest for us at both ends of the ground.
Another game we need to learn from boys and then put behind us. This week we will find our form of earlier in the season!!!!!