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GF #2 Coaches Report

Coach Tom Wigley match report + Robo's Movie Pics from the glorious GF #2 - the club’s first Div 1 flag!l plus Banno's Coaches Report from the B Grade Prel. Final

GF #2 Match report for website

Following the drawn grand final the previous week where we had 20 more inside 50s and 8 more scoring shots (3 out of bounds on the full), the general feeling amongst the supporters and the footy public was of a massive opportunity gone missing for the ROCS Football Club. How this would affect the players mentally leading up the second grand final was always going to be the unknown. After the draw I explained to the players there was nothing we could do to change the fact we had to have a replay in 6 days and we had to treat it like we’d just won a prelim, don’t let in affect us and go about our normal weekly routine and front up again.

Full credit must go to the players for the way they did exactly that. Generally the week leading up to a grand final there’s a lot of nerves, excitement and hype around. The best way I can describe the atmosphere the week leading up to the second grand final was “business like”. The focus was purely based on what we as a group needed to do to give ourselves the best chance of winning a game of footy against Salisbury North. Despite having some sore players we were fortunate that we were able to take the same 22 players into the second grand final.

Having played Salisbury North in a trial match, 2 minor round games and 2 finals, both sides had a good understanding of each other and how they played. I took confidence in the fact that we didn’t need to change the way we setup or the style of play we used in the second semi-final and first GF, we just had to ensure we executed it for the full four quarters.

Kicking with a slight breeze the first quarter was one of the best quarters of footy we played all year. We were well on top at stoppages, we had twice as many inside 50s than Sals Nth and our tackling and pressuring of the opposition was of the highest standard. But the scoreboard is where it matters most and due to our excellent conversion for inside 50s and accuracy on goal we were able to put them under early scoreboard pressure. With our midfield well on top and Damien Moyle and Kieran Holland providing run and carry from the backlines we were able to give our forwards one on ones inside 50 and at one stage we had 6 goals straight on the board. Ben Kerslake dominated the early going form centre half forward, taking a towering mark and kicking our first goal moments later. Kerslake’s hardness and thirst for the contest played a part in our first 3 goals. Drew Litster was finding space inside 50 and played one of the great first quarters you’re likely to see from a full forward in a Grand Final, kicking 3.1 for the quarter. Luke Manuel was at his devastating best and when he slotted his second goal for the quarter from a 60m bomb the strong ROCs crowd rose as one. We took a 31 point lead into the first break.

The second quarter started much the same as the first with our midfield continually pushing the ball forward and all ROCs players tackling and pressuring at the standard we talked about all week. Midway through the second quarter a few Salisbury North players let their frustration get the better of them and a minor melee ensued. The maturity the ROCs players showed not to retaliate while this was going on was outstanding and looked to frustrate the Salisbury North players even more. I had no doubt that following the melee the ROCs players would keep their focus on the job at hand, which was to win a game of footy and not let that distract them. We now know this was exactly what happened. Half way through the quarter Sam Bridge was knocked out by a stray opposition arm and had to come from the field and was unable to return. Scans later in the week revealed a fractured jaw that would require surgery.

We went into half time with a 27 point lead. Having lost Bridge for the match and Kieran Holland and Matt Dawes both battling with tears in their hamstrings that they sustained in the first half I knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to achieve what we wanted. The message at half time was to simply continue to play our game. Pressure the opposition, maintain our accountability and run and carry the footy.

Coming out after half time and with the knowledge of what Salisbury North did in the last quarter the week before we knew the 3rd quarter was massive for us, particularly as we had the aid of the slight breeze.  The first 8 minutes was a real arm wrestle and Salisbury North threw everything at us, it was certainly game on! It looked like we needed and spark and Peter Baccanello provided that as he ran onto a loose ball at half forward, while running towards the boundary he snapped an amazing goal from his trusty left foot from 40m out deep on the boundary line. Shortly after this Brendan Littler cleverly dribbled a goal around 2 defenders to push the momentum well and truly in our favour. With Jack Nelligan, Will O’Malley, Dan McCallum, Craig Holm and Jimmy Jordan working tirelessly around the packs feeding off Mitch Sutcliffe’s ruck work and Damien Moyle, Jon Trenorden and Matt Dawes provided the run from defence, the ROCs goals flowed. When Tim Baccanello calmly snapped an equally impressive goal from the same pocket as his brother did 20min earlier there was talk on the terraces that the North West pocket at Thebarton Oval will now be known as “The Baccanello Pocket”.

Our brilliant 3rd quarter, which resulted in 7 straight ROCs goals to Salisbury North’s 1.1, saw us go into the 3 quarter time break with a 62 point lead.

The last quarter didn’t reach any great heights and in fact we failed to actually kick a goal. But this mattered little as when the final siren sounded and the scoreboard read ROCs 17.9 to Salisbury Nth 10.9 a sea of Red and Black engulfed the oval and all the hard work throughout the year could finally be celebrated as we had won the club’s first Div 1 flag!

The players need to be commended for an outstanding finals series. Having played our last 3 minor round matches away and every finals game away makes the achievement even more amazing. Finishing 3rd on the ladder we played and beat Goodwood Saints by 1 point at Goodwood Oval in the qualifying final, we then played and beat Sals Nth by 21 points at Sals Nth oval in the second semi, we then drew the first GF against Sals Nth at Thebarton Oval, then won the replay GF underlights at Thebarton Oval by 42 points.

1153 players have represented the ROCs during its 39 year history and only 22 of those players (2%) have won a Div 1 flag. But this premiership was as much about the club and reward for the hard work that many outstanding people have put in since its formation as it was about the 22 that played on that famous night. The thrill and excitement this premiership has brought so many great ROCS people is what will last with me forever.

Tom Wigley
A Grade Coach


Movie Pics of the GF # 2 from Andrew Robertson

Click on links below

1st Half Highlights - GF#2

2nd Half Highlights - GF#2


Click on link below for the SAAFL "The Bounce News" on the GF#2

SAAFL The Bounce News GF#2

See previous articles/pic's from the great night in the club's history

Photo's / Articles from the GF#2


B Grade Coaches Report from Prel. Final

After a stirring come from behind win in the 2nd Semi Final against Tea Tree Gully the ROCS B Grade were ready for another big challenge against minor premiers Salisbury North on their home ground. With a Grand Final berth against Goodwood Saints on the line, the boys trained extremely well during the week to prepare well.
After a frantic first few minutes, Salisbury North were by far the better team in the 1st quarter. Disappointingly our work rate and attack on the contest were poor, resulting in a 23 point deficit at quarter time. From quarter time onwards, our accountability and willingness to take the game on allowed us to stay in the contest. Twice in the 3rd quarter we got within 3 goals only to see Salisbury North answer quickly to restore a comfortable margin. In the end Salisbury North were by far the better team on the day, running out eventual winners by 34 points. Whilst many players were disappointed with their and the team's performance, they should be commended on their character to stay in the game and keep fighting.
Trent Versace was clearly best on the ground, his tireless work rate and 3 goals were a big factor in us remaining in the game for as long as we did. Chris Ash and Tom O'Malley were also strong contributors on-ball, with both players putting in solid 4-quarter efforts. It was pleasing to see Kieran Smith back up his best-on-ground performance in the 2 semi-final with another strong performance. His 3rd quarter at half-forward was outstanding, where he was involved in many goal-assists. Sam Wilson also worked hard down back, shutting one of their dangerous key forwards out of the game.
Whilst losing was extremely disappointing, the boys should be very proud of their efforts during 2013. We played some outstanding at times, and were always a team that was competitive and difficult to beat. With another pre-season into some of the young B-grade players I'm sure the group will go one step further in 2014!
Final Scores: Salisbury North 12-10 (82) def ROCS 7-6 (48)
Goal Scorers: T. Versace 3, C. Jones 1, K. Smith 1, C. Ash 1, P. Brennan 1
Best Players: T. Versace, C. Ash, T. O'Malley, K. Smith, S. Wilson
Paul Bannister
B Grade Coach