What a fantastic day for footy the Queen’s Birthday weekend turned out to be with an awesome crowd coming out to support us in our game against the Roosters.
The Roosters were coming off two solid victories and were always going to be fired up and keen to continue their winning ways to maintain touch with the top 5 and a finals spot. The first quarter proved to be the case, with North making the most of their entries and winning the contested ball and clearances to put our backs under pressure. We were unable to get much flow in our game as North applied a lot of pressure. Gibson Turner and Liam McBean managed to get us on the scoreboard and we went into quarter time down by 5 points, but we hadn’t played well and we were overusing the ball and not being direct enough.
The second quarter started in a similar manner but with Chris Curran and Max Proud leading the way in defence and with our pressure increasing, we were able to capitalise on our inside-50 entries. We kicked five goals to two, with Marlon Motlop kicking two goals for the quarter.
We went into half time 14 points up and with a confidence that our best footy was good and we needed to continue to focus on playing our role for the team. With Max Proud spoiling everything coming his way and Chris Curran playing his typical intercept game, our backs defended numerous entries. Matthew Snook was exceptional with his hands at stoppages and getting the ball to our runners, enabling our forwards to get first look of the ball. Liam McBean broke the tight shackles that had been wrapped around him for the first half and kicked three goals, proving to be quite damaging when the ball came near him. He brought others into the game and Toby Pink was rewarded for some hard work with a strong mark and goal late in the term to put us 25 points at three quarter time.
With only three on the bench since early in the second half and after a tough few weeks, we knew the last term was going to be a tough one and North would apply another big effort early in the quarter. We were right, with them kicking the first goal of the quarter and applying pressure on our backs. The last quarter turned into a goal-for-goal contest, with both teams kicking five. We had five individual goal kickers for the quarter and nine for the game. So, we were able to run out victors with a 23 point margin.
We now go into our second bye for the season with our guys looking forward to the weekend off. For our five State representatives this will be their first weekend off and I know how much they are looking forward to giving their mind and bodies a break on the weekend. We are obviously very pleased with how we have performed so far but there is still a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season, and we will use the next few days to freshen the minds and bodies and also look at ways to continue to improve.
Again it was great to see such a large crowd down at ACH Stadium on Monday and your support is appreciated by all. We look forward to seeing you next weekend for another tough challenge against an Eagles outfit who are playing some very good footy at Woodville Oval on Sunday week.
Enjoy the weekend off!
– Brett Hand, Senior Coach
Goal kickers: L. McBean (5), M. Motlop (3), L. Reynolds (2), M. Allen, D. Bailey, T. Pink, J. Yates, B. Newman, G. Turner
League Trademark Player: Max Proud