Redcliffe took on Calamvale this week with history on their side. A recent rivalry has been built between these two sides since they first played off in 2007 with the Tigers having never been beaten by the Leopards. Although the Redcliffe Senior’s injury list is beginning to look like a phone book, the side selected to make the trip to the Community College field was still a side boasting quality players with its fair share of match-winners.
In the early stages the visitors dominated the centre whilst the home side found space out wide and the first term was played out evenly, with Calamvale just getting their noses in front. The ball use from both sides was patchy however the Leopards displayed better delivery into their forward line, making it difficult for an accomplished Tiger defence. This continued through the second term until the Leopards added some good marking to their game and edged away to a 3 goal buffer at half time.
Coach Kouvaras reinstated his earlier message of applying pressure and it was highlighted that the tackle count in the second quarter was abysmal. These words had immediate effect with the stats showing a massive improvement for the second half. Whilst the Tigers were now playing a better brand of footy, the Leopards already had their tails up, realising this was their best chance to topple their opponents and both sides booted 4 goals for the term. In the Redcliffe coaches box there were more concerns as one player had been sent from the field and the starting 3 onballers left the field with injuries in the space of 1 minute, with 1 to take no further part in the match.
A 5 goal to 3 last term saw the Leopards beat Redcliffe for the first time, and the match gave the Tigers more headaches than just the loss of the 4 premiership points, as another 3 players look to be sidelined through injury next week. Richard Kernick was sensational in all areas of the game and Brett Somers is in rare form while Jason Goodenough and Jason Apps also had the better of their opponents for the day. Michael Allkin once again displayed smart usage of the ball with Gary Spencer, Jason Burgoyne and Aaron Richardson putting in good accounts of themselves. Captain Steve Jenkins and Andrew Kouvaras both sustained heavy knocks but continued to play on for their team mates.
All in all the match was lost, yet watching from the sidelines it was difficult to pin-point any particular area of deficiency as the Tigers had so many solid contributors and strung together some great passages of play, leaving me to think the main area to improve on is the consistency in which we go about it. A home game this Saturday, the return of some key personnel and many players from last week carrying over some good form should see the Black & Golds return the winner’s list sooner rather than later.