June 1, 2019, 11:40 am
|La Trobe University||2.5-17||3.5-23||3.10-28||5.10-40|
The wide-open spaces of the La Trobe Oval (a copy of the MCG) awaited with the 50 metre arcs being clearly displayed on a perfect grass surface. With a white picket-style fence, the grandstand would have to be the best football facilities in the VAFA competition! A full side today with 6 on the bench meant the players rotations were going to be important to keep the pressure on the new U19 La Trobe Uni team. Perfect conditions greeted the players, little breeze and no muddy cricket pitches to contend even after the Friday night deluge!
What were the instructions? Large Ground, enormous space equates to the ability to switch and play both sides of the ground, with forward entries to be low and not bombed in!
First quarter: La Trobe opened up with a succession of inside 50 entries with their ruck, rover combination winning out of the centre. No 25 had a great leap and was giving Will McKenzie some thinking to do; giving first use of the ball to ruck rover 8 and 5 (rover). The second ruck No 23 was also just a s good! The Brunswick defence of Paevere, Sabatino kept the La Trobe team confined to the pockets where they kicked inaccurately for 2-5- 17 while Brunswick managed only 2-2-14. The two goals being scored by Gus Coverdale the quintessential rover balking and selling candy around the opposition! Second game player Anthony Roussos was in everything and this live wire rover must have had 10 possessions in the first quarter!
2nd Quarter: The quarter time review revealed that players were not expecting a stiff competition, playing wide of their opponents, while switching across the ground was limited to just 2 attempts! Playing the far wing and bombing it into the forward line was simply inefficient and playing into La Trobe’s defence! The instructions find an opponent, switch the play, go backwards if you have to and from the half back line make the wings and flankers demand the ball. Simples!
A greater desire and adopting the above instructions resulted in a more efficient attack with the Brunswick boys putting on 7-3 with goals to Shannon Gill, Stefan Stengherlin, Archie Fulton Grigg, Gus Coverdale (2) and ruck rover Tahj Haddock. Shannon Gill was having a day out with the blond-haired dynamo in the thick of everything and feeding the ball into the forward line with long low left foot passes. Centre clearances were slightly La Trobe way in the second quarter with La Trobe 4 to Brunswick 3. What was working was the clearances were coming by way of the wingers Paddy Boreham Delany and Eric Newgreen attacking from the outside with handball receives.
La Trobe 3-5-23 – Brunswick 9-5-59
Half time and the signs were good although a slight breeze favouring the northern end, meant that the opposition will have use of the breeze in the 3rd quarter.
Third Quarter: A tightly contested quarter with both teams peppering the goals with La Trobe kicking an inaccurate 5 behinds, with the Brunswick team a more efficient 4-2 for the quarter. The backline of Paevere, Sabatino Sparrow and Avraam were effective in repelling the attack, while Tahj Haddock was shifted onto No 8 to reduce his effectiveness and clearance rates.
A direction from the boundary from Ass. Coach Ludeman for ruckman McKenzie to pick up opposition ruckman No 23 was met with a swift reply that he was actually on 25! – good to see McKenzie now starting to concentrate!
Best for the quarter was Roussos, Gill, Haddock, Paevere, with goals to Alexander Georgopoulos (1), Shannon Gill (1) and Gus Coverdale who only kicks goals in pairs, for each quarter (2).
La Trobe 3-10-28 – Brunswick 13-7-85
Final quarter and the lead were further extended with a further 5-5 for the quarter to La Trobe two (2) straight goals. The Uni side were never going away and fought the game to the end, with their ruck and roving division very good around the ground.
For Brunswick it was the small players relishing the wide expanses and space of the MCG! A further two (2) goals to Coverdale and singles to Alex Rusjan, Shannon Gill and Will McKenzie resulted in the final score of 18-12-120 def La Trobe 5-10-40.
La Trobe University
Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora VIC