|51 - 134
|19 - 124
Yarra Old Grammarians
|27 - 16
Yarra Old Grammarians
|19 - 9
Facing a top side and on the home ground at the “G”, what could we expect after last week’s big win? We had a narrow loss the week before to De La Salle and the form was very good. The ladder told a familiar story with the Pirates having won 5, but none of their opposition were in the four! Could an upset be on the cards? A full side with the exception of Gus Coverdale (tuna salad the night before = gastro) and the forward line was always going to miss the six (6) goals he scored last weekend.
A 3-4 goal breeze greeted both teams, favouring the south-eastern end of the ground and the Pirates opened up early with a quick goal on the score boards against the wind and within the first 60 seconds! Brunswick replied with goals to Stefan, Will McKenzie and new player Anthony Roussos chipping in for further singles. Pressure across the ground was excellent (tackle count 14) with the play equally divided across the ground, even with the northerly!
The worry was the ruck and roving division of the Pirates, which were very strong and winning all the centre clearances. Numbers 60, 63, 69 and 72 were very good and their strength and running pressure was going to be hard to contain.
First Q Brunswick 3-6-24 to Peninsula 3-2-20
The issue for the second quarter was how to beat the ruck and centre clearances with the tall leap of 60 dominating the centre. The instruction was man-on-man and to stop the flow out of the centre which was giving the Pirates forward line first use of the ball. But with a player mismatch this is where man-on-man can come unstuck and Brunswick were unable to contain this division around the ground. Players playing wide of their opponent also did not assist. As Dermie used to say it takes “no skill to run with an opponent and tag them out of the game”! Of course fitness does help!
The backline of Jasper Paevere, Jack Sabatino, Carl Marchione and Declan Sparrow however managed to contain the Pirates to three goals for the quarter, while a goal to Stefan reduced the Pirates lead. But a fourth 20 seconds before the siren saw the Pirates take a 4 goal lead into half time. Overall it was a good quarter considering the breeze and getting beaten in the clearances. The backline kept the team in the game.
2nd Q Brunswick 4-7-31 to Peninsula 8-6-54
With the breeze now in Brunswick’s favour, the issue was to see whether the team could capitalise and reduce the 23 point lead. Again Stefan pulled down some strong marks to kick a further two for the quarter, while the Pirates kicked inaccurately with 1 goal 5 and weren’t perturbed about the breeze at all. The back line of Paevere, Sabatino, Sparrow and Marchione kept the team’s hopes alive, but a 21 point margin remained.
3rd Q Brunswick 6-8-44 to Peninsula 9-11-65
The signs were good early on when we controlled the ball around the ground with accurate field passing and this resulted in two goals to McKenzie and Roussos. However fatigue was starting to set in and trying to contain the run and carry of the Pirates was starting to become evident. The Pirates took full advantage of the strong breeze to kick an inaccurate 5-8 in the last quarter. Brunswick scoring with McKenzie and Roussos.
Some poor decision-making by kicking across goal, or short passes which ended up in the opposition hands resulted in major scores, which made the margin larger but not reflective of the effort. In the end the Pirates deserved the win to maintain top spot, while the Brunswick team can reflect on how to challenge top sides and why you need to adapt your playing style when playing stronger opponents.
Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC