It was a frustrating day all round for the Cobras on Saturday, with the Women putting up a solid fight and showing signs of improvement but going down against De La. The Reserves and Seniors missed some of the basics and were lucky the opposition didn’t hit more of their targets in front of goal.
Women: Hawthorn at The Snakepit, 11:20am, 3rd round lucky! Go Cobs!
Men: Swinburne away at St. James Park.
|De La Salle||2.3-15||4.3-27||5.6-36||6.7-43|
Goal Kickers: R. Azzopardi, K. Bulluss
Best Players: R. Azzopardi, K. Bulluss, J. Lee, M. Spillane, E. Hall, P. Simon
Melbourne turned on a great morning for us with sunny blue skies, zero breeze and the dew on the grass being the only moisture for the Cobra women to be concerned about as they ran out to take on De La Salle at Waverley Oval on Saturday.
With a number of changes being forced on the line up due to injuries over the past 4 weeks and 2 debutants also lining up for their first games in Canterbury colours we were nervous as to how the game would pan out but we never doubted our ability to keep the opposition honest and make them earn every possession.
De La Salle came out firing, scoring 2 quick first quarter goals to our 1 behind. By half time De La had extended their lead to 23 points, with 7 scoring shots to 4, but that by no means reflected the intensity of the play, especially down back. De La’s FF was causing us a little bit of a headache (she scored their first 2 and was providing a great marking and leading target for them) so we threw Emma Hall and Bella Mentor on her for the rest of the game which worked to quell her influence (she scored 1 more for the remainder of the game) and also freed up one of our best defensive in & under ‘hard nuts’, Elise Pittonet to do what she does best – rebound the ball out of defence.
At half time we went in to the rooms and talked about clean possession and chains of possession. We also spoke about not congesting stoppages and trying to be a target for our teammates. We also spoke about reward for effort and how we just weren’t getting it, we were close, but not close enough…just get a goal, that was a focus for the second half of the game.
The girls came out with intent and aggression in the third quarter, Tara Healy and Evie Hall led the way in the ruck, giving our mids first use of the ball. Mary Spillane was excellent taking the ball out of the air and making forward 50 entries. Rita Azzopardi and Lauren Daw put on some awesome displays of gut running down the wings to get the ball to our forwards and Jess Lee and Maddy Bennett were uncompromising in their desire to keep the ball in our forward 50 to give us a chance at scoring that elusive in season goal. A tight 3rd quarter and only another 3 behinds from us meant the fourth was shaping up to be an arm-wrestle! Siren goes to start the fourth and lightning quick hands steal the tap from the middle and the ball finds it’s way to our attacking 50 where Kiera Bullus runs on to it, gathers it and bags one on the run from the right forward pocket!!! The celebration from the bench and on the ground was intense, almost like we’d won the Grand Final! Not ones to rest on their laurels, the girls quickly reset and not a minute after Kiera’s history making goal, Rita Azzopardi slotted her first from a free kick right in front! We were within 16 points with 14 minutes to go, we had the belief, but unfortunately by the time the siren went we still didn’t have a W next to our names on the ladder. In the end it was a 23 point margin in De La Salle’s favour, but we couldn’t be prouder of our Cobra girls!
Jade Shanahan – Assistant Coach, Senior Women.
Goal Kickers: A. Panjwani 3, R. Hummerston 2, S. Woodward, M. Wishart, J. Coghlan West, D. Erdely
Best Players: A. Panjwani, G. Driscoll, R. Hawke, R. Hummerston, D. Erdely, S. Woodward
Round Five against Westbourne was played down at the Snake Pit, we were going to be in for a fight as Westbourne were looking for blood after we had beat them in the grand final last time we met. This game was a must win for us to keep our season rolling in the right direction.
The first quarter we starting well and moved the ball with purpose kicking the first two goals of the game one from Erderly and Hummer with our intensity and good ball movement we well looking good, unfortunately as the quarter went on Westbourne steadied and started controlling the stoppages and kicked the next four goals of the quarter to take a 16 points lead into quarter time. We weren’t doing the defensive running required to put pressure on our opponents.
The second quarter was a hard fought contest our attack on the footy was good and we started to win the centre clearances through Hawke and are mids Coggs, Wishart, Stalsy, who were getting their hands on the ball, we kicked our first goal through Hummer after a great lead. Westbourne were given opportunities because of our poor disposal and decision making. The margin was out to a 23 point lead before Wishart converted from a fair way out to peg back the margin. Our endeavour and attack on the footy couldn’t be questioned but our disposal was letting us down.
At half time we spoke about playing on at all cost to get the ball down to our forwards quickly as possible to create the opportunities required to get us back into the game. Boyd moved to the forward 50 to give us another option up forward. With quick ball movement into our forwards, Arun scored two goals with great crumbing off the packs and we were back in the game. Our defence had tightened and BJ was making and intercepting a lot of their forward entries. Dris finds space up forward and slots another goal and the difference is only 6 points. Cobras were starting to get on top and Westbourne were getting frustrated. A late goal in the quarter by Westbourne put them 12 points up at 3 quarter time. Our ball movement and aggression and intensity around the ground was great to see. This game is up for grabs and it was up to the players on how badly they want it.
The last quarter was played with both teams desperate to win the contested ball, we moved the ball forward and Arun with good awareness kicked his third to put us 8 points down. Then Westbourne started getting the clearances and with run created opportunities to kick the next two goals to be 23 points ahead. We kicked the last goal of the match through Woody lurking out the back and the final margin was 17 points.
Our endeavour and attack on the footy was great, but unfortunately, we let ourselves down at times through our disposal and defensive running. Another positive is that when we play at our best we are very competitive against the best, but we need to play that brand of football for longer periods during the game.
Go Cobras !!!
Goal Kickers: T. Lowden 4, R. Walmsley 3, N. Szabo, A. Hummerston, A. Wheeler, M. Szabo
Best Players: S. Murphy, T. Lowden, J. Wilson, S. Fitzgerald, J. Mreulje, R. Goodwin
On a beautiful sunny May day, we were all set for a big challenge v our old foe Westbourne Grammarians at home in leafy green Canterbury. With Joshy Lloyde a late withdrawal on Friday night, young Tyler Wooster was brought back in to reward his good attitude and form in the reserves the previous week. We knew Westbourne would be a tough proposition, and that we needed to bring a tough contested brand of footy to the table with good ball use through the corridor if we were to match them and beat them in this potential 8pt game. With the players focused after another solid pre-game preparation, we came out of the blocks well to kick the first 2 goals and get the ball rolling our way. Westbourne then responded fairly quickly, as a real arm wrestle eventuated, as the lead was no more than 2 goals for the entirety of the game until the last 5mins of the last quarter.
I felt we had our chances in the second quarter to extend our lead to 4 goals, but some inaccurate kicking for goal from our forwards left the door ajar for our opponents, who after half time really stepped up their game as they peppered the goals in the 3rd having 11 scoring shots to our 4, but some inaccurate kicking on their behalf had us still in front at the last break by 4pts. Big Fridge and our mids were doing a super job all day in playing to the structures and cracking in, but we couldn’t predict the drop zone of the ruckman’s taps in the last, as we lost 3 quick clearances early which made defending almost impossible for our dour defenders, and as a result we were all of a sudden 3 goals down with the game on a knife’s edge. To our credit, we never gave up, and answered quickly as big Tommy “The Ghost” Lowden slotted one to pull the margin back to 11pts with 5 mins remaining on Jez Gillen’s clock.
But Westbourne were the better side in the end, and with clinical ball use playing through the middle and switching at every opportunity, they slammed on another “snag roll” to run away with a hard fought and gutsy 16pt win. To be fair, I thought our boys tried valiantly, and if we are only a few goals off the best sides in the comp, we aren’t too far away believe me. I feel our game style is still not instinctive, as we still tend to play too wide and down the line, and aren’t moving the ball on angles enough yet.
We need to keep working on our ball movement, which I felt was the difference between the sides to be fair, and we still have a bad tendency for some of our more experienced players to try and do it all themselves and weave themselves out of trouble rather than dishing the ball off to another team mate in a better position more often than not and getting caught holding the ball. The good news is it is still early in the season, and we have time on our side to keep doing what we are doing as it’s all about getting it right at the end of the season not the start.
We are on the right track lads so keep working hard and turning up to training as there is a flag for the taking here if we are prepared to put all of our cards on the table and leave no stone unturned. Sam Murphy was sensational all day, playing his defensive wingman role with discipline and commitment, and was clearly our best player in his best game for a year or 2. Tommy Lowden kicked 4 goals and could have kicked 10 if he had of clunked all of the marks he spilled but was super and tried his heart out as he always does, Wombat kicked 3 and gave us his all yet again, Big Wheels James Wilson was tenacious down back and single handedly tried to initiate some ball movement and switching of the play himself and played a great game, Fridge was super all day yet again, and won his battle in the ruck directing our mids and setting up the structures in there well for most of the day, the “Italian Bull” Jimmy Mreulje played his best game for the club, providing fierce tackling pressure and linking up well around the ground taking several marks and dishing the ball off to his cobra team mates well, and Robbie Goodwin was hard at it in the clutch moments in the last half when the game was on the line, cracking in on the last line of defence saving 2/3 goals for us. There were some good signs, and we have closed the gap between us and the top 3 sides since our Power House mauling 2 weeks ago, but still have some work to do……
Go Cobs…..Love Doaky……