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|Coaches Blog Round 3|
Ripper day out at Leederville with 4 wins from the 4 games on offer for our supporters. The 16’s started us off with a solid win against an East Perth side that had a lot of talent running around from their country zones. WCE superstar Dean Kemp’s boy Sonny was playing some great footy for the opposition and it was a fast game played in perfect conditions.
Our boys were outstanding with every player showing real talent. Young Bright, Watson and Garcia looked unstoppable at times through the midfield, and the quality of overhead marking was a real highlight from Hilton, Edwards, the Robinson twins, Granger and Pasini. The style of footy they play is really impressive, with their run and carry game very exciting to watch.
The reserves then came good when needed after trailing by 5 goals early in the 3rd quarter. Jackson Slater had a purple patch to drag us back into contention and then from that point forward we got the intensity around the footy at a high level, and the boys worked their way over the top of the opposition. Levi Ridley continued his solid form with 27 touches through the mid’s and half forward, and formed a strong group with Ethan Maguire also playing smart footy.
Down back, big Brandon Erceg and Josh Kirkup hit form and repelled many attacks along with Jacob Ness, who put in another strong ball winning display across half back. Mitch Mckenzie went forward after half time and gave us a great target, and he along with Chaddy Daniels and Brody Sutton started to look dangerous.
It was an excellent start for the senior group and the league boys loved watching the reserves boys get up and running.
At senior level the game remained an arm wrestle for the entire match, with the game see sawing with small 2 goal bursts from each team swaying the momentum back and forth. It was a game of contrasting styles with East Perth controlling the ball short for long periods and making us chase, and then our boys finding a way to hurt them with long releases when we got our hands on the footy.
At half time we were battling physically with Ames and Ellis in bother, but they both found a way to get back on the ground and contribute. East Perth controlled the game in the 3rd and only a late surge and goal from Tarryce Stewart gave us life.
We were very proud of the way the boys won this game of footy in the last quarter! It was bloody hot, and the boys were out on their feet but they showed a real desire and will to win. To a man they all lifted their intensity and you could see them all cracking in to win the ball. The mid’s had battled hard all day led by Ellard, Riggio and Blight and then Adam Faulkner really put his stamp on the game when under pressure. His ball winning and hardness really lifted us and allowed us to pump the ball inside 50 at pace to give us a chance.
A goal to Notte got us back in it, and then Jamie plucked one from the heavens and then calmly went back and slotted one from 45m to really lift us. Then from the next stoppage Faulks ripped a ball out from under Fraser McInness in a scrimmage, and then Riggio’s long kick inside 50 ended up in the safe hands of Xavier, and we’d hit the front. A late rebound from defence ended up with Tarryce, and his calm finish from 45m for his 4th of the day ended the contest and gave us a dream 3 and 0 start to the season.
It is great reward for effort heading into the bye for the boys as they have put in a lot of hard work up to this point. The group also know that whilst it’s a good start, there’s bigger and harder challenges ahead over the winter months.
The colts then produced their 3rd win for the year in another come from behind victory under lights. They looked in bother early in the last but some Lochie Huntley energy got the boys going and they came over the top of the young Royals. I thought Jai Reidy was really strong all day and ruckman Oscar Matthews did a great job. Jack O’sullivan continues to build and Blake Pescud showed promising signs. Taylor and Wilson were strong down back and Jarred Cameron played very well. Tommy Whittle also had a super day even though he didn’t have huge numbers on the stats sheet. He had numerous spoils and won the ball back one on one to be one of our best! Well done to the young ducks who continue to impress.
The club will train hard this week and then build into a crucial game against East Fremantle. With Crowls and Nuich due to return we should be close to full strength!
To finish, I’ll leave our supporters with some added reason to smile. Chris Yarran has been cleared to play by Richmond and will return in the reserves against the sharks. He was on the long term injury list at the Tigers, but yesterday they released him to continue his footy at the Swans. His last 6 weeks of training have been excellent and if Yaz can stay fit, he looms as real wildcard for us in the back end of the season.