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Rovers beaten but not disgraced

Published: Monday 3rd July 2017 4:51 PM by HRAFC


After a tough week for the club, the Seniors faced Old Ivanhoe away from home going down by 21 points, while the Reserves had a big 62-point win.

It’s always disappointing to lose and particularly so when the season hangs in the balance, but all those loyal supporters and players who made the trek out to the picturesque Chelsworth Park at Ivanhoe on Saturday saw something that had been lacking in the boys all season – passion.  Yes, the first half was disappointing in that we let the opposition get on top and we were forced into playing catch-up footy, but even so the desperation, tackling, talking, encouragement and general endeavour of the team was excellent.

Charlie Thorpe in the ruck played his best game for the Rovers this season and deservedly won the best-on award at the after-match. He battled hard, and backed up by physical lightweights in Benji Audige and at times Cam Hetherington in the ruck, you could see that as those youngsters develop, our ruck stocks will solidify.

The Rovers wasted the first quarter kicking with the brisk wind and let the opposition in for three easy goals while our only score came from a lovely pass from Cowboy who hit Lachy Cairns who then sprinted away from his opponent for a goal on the run from 40m.

In the second, there were some worrying signs with the ‘Hoers big blokes up forward looking to do some damage. An easy goal within a minute, Hampton then steadied when Nick Jackson took a fine mark and goaled after our forward pressure caused the error. Old Ivanhoe then peppered the goals for the next 20 minutes and had eight scoring shots for only one major.  This inaccuracy wasn’t just their kicking but the pressure our backs and mids were applying to the opposition when in the forward line.

Special mention has to be made of Josh Pavlou’s role in defence.  Josh is no shrinking violet and his efforts in upsetting his bigger and stronger opponent had to be seen to be believed.  Young Adam Schaeche in his first game for the season showed pace and agility and added a sense of urgency to the game when he had the ball.

With new coach Anthony Quon unable to take the reins on Saturday due to a prior work commitment, the role was filled admirably by assistant Lou Folino, ably supported by Club President Steve Anderson and Ressies coach Anton Duddy.  They continued the plans that Quonny put into place at Thursday training and the boys looked a lot better for it.  For the first time this year, there was a system in the backline.  Yes, it didn’t work in that first half but as the game progressed, the boys persisted and the improvement was obvious.  More talk, more handball, fewer rushed and random kicks and our entries into the forward 50 were looking better.

The third quarter was the Rovers best - dominating the play, Oscar Roberts moved forward and looked very comfortable.  He found the goals with a snap in the third quarter and two more in the last – a great mark at 25m and then he was the recipient of a Christian Carnovale pass that flew like a bullet!  Adam Schaeche was gaining confidence and his pass to Cam who knocked on to Benji Audige was great play for the goal. A Cam Hetherington screamer late in the quarter was a highlight of the day - watch it below.

Great to see the Rovers mids come into the game.  The skipper, for the first time this season, moved back into the midfield after half time and last year’s dominant player re-emerged.  He had 10 pressure acts in the second half and his hard work getting the ball out of the centre was one of the main reasons we got back into the game.  James Prosser also lifted and played his best game of the season.

Five minutes into the last quarter and we were 6 points down and in control.  Roland DeBiase was crashing packs and tackles and was leading the young Rovers by example.  Tim Jones had all day been effective whether in defence or attack with some strong marks a feature of his play. Ben Kneebush and Darcy Merlo both gained confidence as the game progressed.

Shem Curry was again solid in defence and his attack on the ball and his opponent was a treat.  Similarly, Jack Zaina, playing his 200th game for the club, was hard and tough at the ball in the second half and forced many opposition turnovers. Finally, the veterans in Fletch, Clemo and Schmita all used their experience and class at various times during the day to great effect.

The boys now have a week off before returning to Boss James Reserve to host Williamstown CYMS.

HAMPTON ROVERS  1.0  2.0  5.4  8.5 (53)
OLD IVANHOE  3.4  5.10  6.10  10.14 (74)
Goal Kickers: O. Roberts 3, L. Cairns, B. Audige, A. Folino, N. Jackson, C. Hetherington
Best Players: R. De Biase, J. Pavlou, C. Carnovale, O. Roberts, T. Jones, L. Fletcher

Watch the full match replay >

The Reserves are looking dangerous.   Four wins out of the last five games and their confidence is sky high.  Last week was a good win, this week we were on top from the start and really didn’t give Old Ivanhoe a sniff.  Nearly 50 points up at half time and the game was sealed.  We continued on our merry way banging through another 9 goals to the opposition’s 4 and it resulted in an easy win.

A highlight of the day was Ash Fisher’s snapped goal that came as a result of a double pike and back flip!  Ned Fallon, continued his demands for senior selection to pop through 6 to follow the 3 of last week.  Brendan Culvenor, playing half forward had his kicking boots on and booted 3.  Great to see the old blokes in Ben Kezilas and Rory Lynch solid in defence and dominating their opponents.  With big Ben Theodore back in the ruck and getting back to that premiership form of a couple of years ago the coach could relax and leave the boots in the car!  Similarly, Alex Ross, in for his first game since about 2014 popped through 2 goals in a promising display at centre half forward.

Nick Murnane playing through the midfield, smashed through the opposition tackles time and time again and drove the ball forward to a dominant forward line.   If we need more grunt in the seniors it was good to see Jesse “The Duck” Donald back in form.  Seventeen goals from twenty two scoring shots – we clearly had our kicking boots on in our best win for the season.

Another loss for the Under 19 firsts to an opposition who were loaded with school boys on holidays from the APS team and a couple of overage players.  With 6 imports John always knew a win was going to be a big ask.

While we lost by 48 points the game was not as one sided as it appeared.  Half way through the last quarter we were within 20 points and the boys were making a serious effort to bridge the gap.  Unfortunately, the opposition just kicked away at the end of the quarter for an easy win.

Max Coughlin on the wing and up forward played well all day.  Harry De Wolf and Cooper Watson both up from the U17s looked at home in the older age group and played well all day. The skipper, Scott Ebbott was his usual effective self and knocked up getting possessions.   Great to see Dave Broadly in the ruck and Steve Raymer down back improving with every game.

The Under 19 seconds also went down but remain two games out of the four. Max Molino and Adrian Hug were our best, both playing out of the midfield and both are improving as the season progresses.  Good to see Ari Gahan in the goalkickers, no doubt spurred on by his parents fine effort with the penne carbonara on Thursday night!   I thought Ash Hoar was playing at CHB yet he features as a goal kicker?  It must be the first week this season that Corey Jones hasn’t kicked a goal.  All in all I think a game for the unders to forget!

A disappointing loss for the Rovers Women this weekend, who went down to top side Ajax by four goals in a very physical contest in cold, windy conditions at Albert Park. 

The team seemed to struggle coming to grips with the aggressive play of the Ajax women who were first in and hard at the contest all day.  There were a number of heavy clashes and big bumps where we seemed to be on the receiving end!

Injuries no doubt, had an effect on the outcome.  We lost gun full back Mandy Naylor with a nasty hand injury which my spies tell me will see her out of action for at least a month.  Will she make it back for the finals?  Steph Rogerson landed heavily on her knee and initially it was feared that we had suffered our third knee reco for the year.  Fortunately, it appears to be severe jarring and we hope she’ll be back on the field in a fortnight.  Finally, pocket rocket Caitlin McLaren in the process of being heavily tackled banged her head hard as she hit the ground and for health reasons it was decided to take her to hospital to ensure she was ok.

The good news? Only four goals separate us from the top team in the competition and we’ll keep this at the top of our minds as we approach the tail end of the season and a guaranteed finals berth.

Best on was Sheedi Ferrari Brown who dazzled us with confidence and class in the ruck for the second week running. Kristy Ebbott took on the big job of tagging the Ajax star and worked hard all day to limit her effectiveness.  Milly Vincent showed great speed up forward but unfortunately we just didn’t get the ball inside 50 enough for her to do any damage.




Round 18 - 2 Sep 2017
Old Mentonians

Lost: 12.16.88 - 17.14.116
Round 1 - 7 Apr 2018

Boss James Reserve






Monday 29th January

Pre-Season Training resumes

Saturday 17th March

Practice Game v St Pauls

Saturday 24th March

Practice Game v Mordialloc



2018 Fixture revealed

The 2018 VAFA Division One Fixture has been released with the Rovers hosting Kew in round one at Boss James Reserve. Meanwhile, player registrations are now open for the 2018 season.

Corp and Pinto return for 2018

Hampton Rovers Premiership players Daniel Corp and Kyle Pinto will be back in the green and gold next year and are looking forward to a successful 2018 VAFA season with the club.

Annual Report 2017

The 2017 Hampton Rovers Annual Report is now available for viewing online. The 65-page publication includes all the reports from the senior and junior sections of the club including all 27 teams and stats for all 660 players.



Gathercole's - The Meat People



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