Round 4: Maribyrnong Park at Raeburn Reserve
We returned to Raeburn Reserve on a perfect day for footy. The key messages for the team pre game was to again take care of the basics and defend the far side of the ground, and at an individual level there was a huge focus on areas of the game when the opposition has the ball. Marby play fast moving football and work to outnumber at all contests. We had to ensure we got off to a good start and not allow them to get the jump early.
Marby got an early edge, kicking the opening three goals of the game. Errors in skill and a lack of defensive pressure hurt us. To our credit we managed to settle and get the game back on our terms to come in at quarter time just one goal behind. For most of the game it was an arm wrestle with each side gaining momentum at certain points. In the second quarter we lost two key players, Shayne Allan and Ben Ross, through injury which left us with only two on the bench. The efforts of Matty Watson up forward, getting on top of his opponent, and Sam Caruso through the midfield kept us in the hunt as we came in at half time.
With a depleted bench, the importance of defending the far side of the ground was re-emphasized along with working even harder in defense. We all understood the need to dig deep to cover those key losses, and that it would take something special to take the game.
While Marby had held the lead from the start of the game, two big goals from Jordan Cellini and Lachie Hansen in the final quarter put us three points up with five minutes to play. A missed opportunity to put us nine points clear would come to haunt us as Marby out spread our players on the far side of the ground and worked the ball forward, putting our defense under immense pressure and regaining the lead. They went on to kick two goals and come away with the 4 points.
The loss of Ross and Allen was certainly a factor but not an excuse for the loss. We had a chance to win the game and we didn’t. Why we lost the game is purely based on effort and a will to outwork your opponent no matter what the circumstances are. On Saturday we didn’t do this. We set out with a plan, and unfortunately we just didn’t adhere to the directions which in the end proved costly.
With a week off, it's now time to re-focus the group and keep training to improve. We need to live and breathe team defence. In this game, each player only has the ball in their hands for a tiny fraction of the game so the focus is on what you are doing for the remainder of time is vital. We will be engraining the practice to locate, communicate and set up in a defensive unit to make it almost impossible for opposition to work the ball back through.
Looking to Round 5 - Greenvale away
Next week we play Greenvale on a big ground where work rate and team defense is going to be key. They have come off a big win against the reigning premiers so we will embrace the challenge and with several injuries we are looking for others in the team to stand up and grab the opportunity that this might create for them. They say that a week in football is a long time so two weeks to work on our game gives us plenty of opportunity to keep growing as a group and come ready to give our all against last year’s runners up and get our season back on track.
Final score: Pascoe Vale 11.9.75 to Maribyrnong Park 12.13.85
Goal Kickers: M. Watson 4, L. Hansen 2, J. Cellini 2, K. Hardingham, J. Polizzi, B. Inglis
Best Players: M. Watson, S. Caruso, G. Guest, P. Bunn, B. Ross, K. Economou
Other matches in Round 4
Reserves 5.3-33 Maribyrnong Park 21.7-133
Under 19.5 4.3-33 v Maribyrnong Park 14.9-93
Hillside 0.0-0 v Senior Women 16.20-116
Under 11 Div 2 6.19-55 v Strathmore 2.2-14
Under 11 Div 5 2.3-15 v Burnside Heights 7.4-46
Under 11 Div 8 6.8-44 v Greenvale 2.2-14
Under 11 Girls 0.0-0 v Strathmore 18.13-121
Glenroy 0.0-0 v Under 13 Div 2 25.10-160
Under 13 Div 6 1.0-12 v Westmeadows 11.15-81
Strathmore 6.7-43 v Under 13 Div 8 4.12-36
Under 13 Girls v Sunbury TBC
Under 15 Div 2 11.6-72 v Westmeadows 12.14-86
Under 15 Div 5 21.9-135 v Strathmore 2.3-15
Under 15 Girls - BYE
Under 17 Div 1 9.14-68 v Hillside 8.7-55
Under 17 Div 4 6.7-43 v West Coburg 8.10-58
Roxburgh Park 1.0-6 v Under 18 Girls 14.16-100
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