An outstanding day of SANFL football was on show on the King’s Birthday public holiday. Full credit to Justin, Kristin and all our wonderful staff and volunteers, along with the SANFL, for promoting the day. Most importantly, well done to the 7300 odd people for coming along and supporting not only our football club, but the SANFL competition. It is hands down the best competition outside of the AFL, and what an outstanding way to showcase that.
With this being the case, it was important for our playing group to put on a solid performance. The challenge was we were playing against a team sitting undefeated and on top of the table. We felt like we needed to play somewhere near our best for long periods, and pleasingly we were able to play our best football for the season and able to sustain it for the full four quarters. Full credit to the playing group, who were relentless in the pressure and defensive action to take Sturt’s game away consistently. What we have been pleased about over the last seven weeks is our ability for our offence to click into gear on the back of what we are doing as a team defensively.
Our first quarter was exciting, and we were able to capitalise on dominant field position, both through a strong breeze and, mainly, through our method. Although we kicked seven goals, we still felt like we had missed some other good opportunities to keep piling on the pressure. From that point of view, my personal feeling was our second quarter into the strong breeze was our best quarter for the season. We were able to dominate around contest, consistently turn the ball over through outstanding pressure, and some of the ball movement to create and finish off our good work was really pleasing to watch.
The challenge in a game like this is to maintain that type of level knowing the opposition will respond. To be able to keep getting about our work with the same intent and work rate is a good sign for our group. Another seven goals in the third quarter were just rewards for how the playing group went about it. While the last quarter was a much tighter contest on the scoreboard, we didn’t drop away from the work rate and intent that we are after for long periods. While we understand we are at the halfway point of the season with still a lot of improving and things to work on, we are really encouraged by the way we have attacked the brand of football we are wanting to play. We look forward to getting back into it in a couple of week’s time.
Our Reserves group continued with some good solid football and, like the league team, sit on top of the table at the halfway point of the season. While they were challenged early, they were able to fight their way through that with a strong second half, particularly the last quarter. What is really pleasing from a coaching perspective is the way the group is endeavouring to play our method. We have several players playing outstanding football week in week out. We look forward to that continuing into the second half of the season.
Our players now have a few days off to freshen up, reset and prepare to attack the next part of the season. We look forward to having all our supporters at Hisense Stadium in a fortnight to watch us take on West Adelaide in round 10.
– Darren Reeves, Senior Coach
Goal kickers: Matt Allen (6), Lachie Hosie (4), Will Chandler (3), Liam McBean (3), Cam McGree (2), Luke Reynolds (2), James Bell, Riley Holder, Corey Lyons
Best Players: Matt Allen, Matthew Snook, Luke Partington, Cam McGree, James Bell, Max Proud