What the hell happened there? The answer does not make for pretty reading.
On the wide, well-manicured expanses of Box Hill City Oval, with the sun shining and spring in the air, Brunswick NOBs were hit by a freight train in the form of the undefeated Whitefriars which kept rumbling over the top of us for the entirety of what felt like the longest four quarters ever. The less said about how the carnage actually unfolded on Saturday the better.
In summary, we were comprehensively smashed in every facet of the game, starting in the centre where more often than not the Friars won the ball with ease and spirited it forward with precision and panache. Our defence was quite helpless to resist. We simply could not go with our speedier opponents, nor match the true finals pressure they brought to bear. That pressure caused us miscue on our decision-making and our skills when we did get our hands on the ball. In particular, we fell into the trap of overusing the ball – the one handball too many, the ring-a-rosy chip kicks that took us nowhere – and showed a distinct lack of willingness to run and take risks.
There were a handful of Brunswick players who could walk off the ground with their heads held high, led by Nick Burgin who was composed in the face of the onslaught and did match the intensity and skill of the opposition. Mick O’Donoghue, who was asked to play at both ends of the ground and in the ruck, had a real dip. Young guns Luka Vlassopoulos and Dom Sullivan also tried to lift the team with run, but suffered from a lack of support. Liam Whelan battled hard in defence, while Geremie Ganino and Patrick O’Donoghue also stuck to their tasks.
We worked hard all season to earn the double-chance and the great thing is that we now get to use it against Melbourne High School Old Boys in the preliminary final this weekend. It is also a wonderful opportunity for our players to show that they can play finals footy against a side we have defeated twice this year. We will regroup and push on in pursuit of a grand final berth. See you all at the prelim.
Box Hill City Oval
Middleborough Rd, Box Hill VIC