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Coaches Report - Finals Week 2 + 3

Fantastic 56 point win by the B's against SPOC in the Semi Final

Coaches Report - Finals Week 2 - B Grade


Rocs B grade travelled to St Peters to play Spocs in a knockout semi final, having lost to Spoc on both attempts this year. We went in with a nothing to lose attitude and with a positive attitude and hard attack at the ball, pushed Spoc aside and recorded a fantastic 56 point win. It was the teams best 4 quarter effort for the year and all players had a positive influence on the result. The confidence gained from last weeks 'come from behind' effort against Broadview carried over for the start of the game against Spocs.

As you would imagine the first 5 minutes of the final was very congested and plenty of contests and ball ups. We opened the scoring through Dale Sheedy and then another quick goal to Sam Tagg to get a mini break on our opponent. We were starting to dominate around the clearances with some bigger bodies and a real intensity at the ball. We started with a very strong backline and did not want to let Spoc get out to a quick lead. Our backline was rock solid and we were winning the ball around the middle of the ground, but we were finding it hard to get past centre half forward at times. Bombing the ball into the breeze to Sheedy was the wrong options as his taller opponent was able to out body and relieve the pressure for Spoc on a number of occasions. A goal each in the last part of the term saw us pretty happy to have started well and take in a 10 point lead to quarter time. We had a real focus to start well and we achieved that very well.

At quarter time we restructured the backline to a more familiar line-up and were able to put Trent Versace across half forward to give Dale Sheedy a hand and the team an extra option going forward.  Spoc kicked the first goal to reduce the margin to 4 points and then we dominated the rest of the quarter with terrific movement of the ball and running the opposition off their feet. 6 goals in less than 10 minutes and 8 goals straight for the quarter saw us open up a 47 point lead at half time. We played our best footy for the year in the second term and ran hard to space and providing options up forward. Trent Versace was important in the air and on the ground kicking 2 goals in the second term, as did half forward Dan Gilbert, Dale Sheedy also kicked 2 and Luke Sheridan was causing headaches for the Spoc backline and took some great contested marks and kicking 2 goals of his own.

A strange position to be in at half time as we had never been in front of Spoc all year, let alone in a knockout final. We reinforced the importance of starting again and not getting ahead of ourselves, knowing Spoc would come at us in the 3rd quarter. Spoc did challenge us and put our backline under pressure during the quarter, however our midfield and on-ballers were applying great pressure further up the field and didn't let Spoc have the time to use the ball effectively. Spoc kicked 1 -5 to our 2 goals straight and our backline were fantastic in their pressure and attack on the player and forced a lot of the shots to be minor scores.

48 points up at the last change and we had to run the game out and keep attacking. And we won the 4th quarter kicking 3 goals to 2 and recorded winning every quarter of the game and recording a unexpected 56 point win.  When I say it was unexpected, we always thought we could win, but we probably didn't think it would be by over 9 goals. The confidence and belief within the group was given another shot and we really look forward to the challenge against Henley this Saturday.

Best players were everywhere and it was extremely hard to pick just a handful. Best player went to Luke Sheridan playing out of a forward pocket kicking 4 goals and proving too much to match up on with his strong grabs and penetrating kicks from 50m. Dale Sheedy kicked 4 from centre half forward and contested brilliantly all day. Tom Taylor racked up plenty of kicks from the centre and was responsible for some very important clearances early in the game. Tommy works hard and runs himself into the ground, pressuring and gathering possessions. Patrick Holland in the backline used his height to cut off many attacks from Spoc. He reads the ball well and his skill level has improved dramatically as the year has progressed. Trent Versace was really important in the second quarter and provided great support to Dale Sheedy. Trent also works hard around the ground to gather possessions. 6th best went to Shannon Castellano. He is a hard, no nonsense backman and attacks the ball with no regard for anyone!!

Sam Wilson, Elliott Shirley won their positions in the key backline positions and deserve special mentions. Dan Gilbert played his best footy for a while and was damaging across half forward and with his stints on the ball.  Henry Schilling is a young onballer who is important in forcing clearances to our advantage. Luke Allen is a 17 yrs old college student and showed plenty of poise and a really good skill level. His pace across the wing was a real advantage for us. Lastly Sam Tagg again has been playing the best footy I've seen him play. He is fearless and seems to have plenty of time to use the ball well. I'm sorry for the players I didn't name, but its great that everyone was important to the team win on the weekend.

So, into a preliminary final against Henley. We haven't beaten Henley this year, but that's what we said about Spoc this time last week. The playing group are really confident and looking forward to the challenge. If we bring the same intensity to this weeks game and put the pressure on Henley we are confident our best is good enough. We will need to be at our best, we've got nothing to lose.


Glen Malkin
B Grade Coach

C Grade Report - uploading soon