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|Coaches Blog Round 5|
It was a difficult day at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday where we only came away with the 1 win from 3 outings.
The colt’s boys got a nice touch up by a switched on Sharks outfit who were ready for the contest. We on the other hand were not, and a 6 goal to 1 first quarter effectively killed the game. Whilst disappointing, it should provide a valuable lesson for our youngsters. We weren’t switched on for whatever reason and our energy levels were way down on the first 3 rounds. East Fremantle kicked away and even though we squared things up over the next 3 quarters, they still won comfortably!
Blake Pescud could hold his head up high with 9 tackles and 24 disposals and I thought Tom Whittle battled hard both in defence and up forward when he got swung up front. One of our smallest players in Jackson Beck also played with the right energy and had a great day! I’m sure this loss will sharpen the boys focus and they will come back strongly this week against the young Falcons.
The reserves showed some great signs but eventually went down by a kick and a bit. There were lots of positives with Yaz getting through a half. It was a real relief as he showed a heap of class in 40 minutes of footy. He will slowly build over the next month as he eyes off a return to senior footy. At half time we had dominated much of the contest but only led by 17pts having kicked inaccurately.
East Freo went up a level at the start of the 3rd and quickly got the game back on even terms on the scoreboard. Yarran was off the ground, and then we lost Josh Kirkup who had been best on ground to that point to a major cork. We lost momentum but were still right in the game at the last change. We then lost Chaddy Daniels to a horrific injury where he collided with a player and the goalpost and dislocated an elbow. He’s a tough cookie Chad and we are hopeful he’ll be back very soon! Scans today will tell us more about a return date.
Chad’s injury took away some valuable goal scoring power and whilst we hammered the ball inside 50 all quarter, we just couldn’t hit the scoreboard and just fell short. Jackson Slater continued his good form off a wing and we were really happy with our young mid’s in Maguire and Cipro who ran their hearts out with 34 and 29 disposals respectively. Brandon Erceg played well off half back and Sachin Barr came in and gave us life across half forward. Levi Ridley also had some nice moments up forward and through the midfield. Jake Coniglio also provided some nice run and finished with 2 goals and 16 touches.
Whilst it was a tough loss, there were some extenuating circumstances that made life tough, and there were enough positives out of the game to say that a few wins are just around the corner for the group.
The league game was a real war. We absorbed some early pressure to eventually gain control of the first quarter, but a couple of undisciplined acts left us all square at the first change. It was a good result given we kicked into a 2 or 3 goal breeze. We played some excellent footy early in the second to stretch the margin to 25 points but then the Sharks clicked up a gear and the game turned into a stoppage fest. At one stage there would have been 6 or 7 repeat stoppages inside their forward 50 as they pushed all of their mid’s into the contest. We scrapped hard, but a couple of late goals reduced the margin to 10 points and they were back in the game.
In the third we hung on grimly. They used the wind well but we did enough to force them wide, and to turn in front was a great effort. The wind really did play a part in the final term and we had 12 shots on goal to 1 for the quarter. The eventual winning margin of 32 points wasn’t indicative of the contest because it really did feel like the game wasn’t over until the final few minutes. East Fremantle were hard and gallant, and the win had real merit because we had to really scrap it out to get the points.
Jesse Turner had arguably his best ever game of WAFL footy with 30 touches and 13 tackles and he was backed up through the mids by Crowley and Ellard who thrived on the contested nature of the game. Down back the boys were again outstanding led by Tallan and Tony! Jarred Blight continued his great form in multiple roles and up forward Ricky Cary had a productive day that ended with 3 goals, but could have been a lot more if he kicked straight. Corey Gault again did a great job up forward and through the ruck and Matt Rogers really lifted late under pressure.
It was game where we had a few blokes below their best so it’s good to know we have some improvement in us. No disrespect to our last two opponents, but I reckon our last 2 hitouts have not been up to the standard we set against the Bulldogs. This game against West Perth will be our biggest test of the year. They comfortably accounted for Peel last week and they are always very tough at Arena Joodalup. They have quality everywhere you look with the likes of Van Berlo, Black, Nelson, Stryjk and Nelson and it will take our absolute best to get the job done.