Rovers U/19s returned to form this week with a 57 point win over Oakleigh Clayton at home. In the seasons first wet weather game, Rovers defied the conditions finishing with 15 goals shared amongst eleven goal kickers.
Slow starts have been a regular feature of Rovers games, and this week was no different, with Oakleigh scoring the first two goals of the match aided by a strong wind. But the work rate of Rovers was noticeably better than in previous games, and players seemed to demonstrate a rejuvenated aggression at the ball. With rain falling heavily, Kettle soccered a quick roving goal to keep Rovers in touch at the first break.
In the second quarter Rovers kicked five unanswered goals – attributed to winning the ball quickly out of the middle. Hendry and Sharpe rotating in the ruck worked well. It was good to see the less glamorous features of the game had returned to prominence – Sharpes tackle and O?Briens bump in the centre circle both produced turn-overs and it was this bullocking, physical aggression coupled with hard running where Rovers stamped their authority on the game. Corbett is another example of a player who although doesn?t score a huge amount of goals, certainly contributes to his fair share through laying tackles, shepherding and giving off a quick handball after the ?hard-ball get?. Across back, Ross provided invaluable composure and footy nous in a best on ground performance. Suleyman, whose high marking was hampered returning from injury, worked hard at ground level. The forwards also worked hard. White was notable for his speed and balance and Gleeson for his marking contests over the whole game.
At the last break, Rovers knew that the game still had to be won and emphasis was placed on accountability. The directive was to pick up a man, any man, even if not your direct opponent. With a 5 goal to nil last quarter, Rovers satisfied this demand. It was re-assuring from a supporters perspective to see a return to the work ethic and the smart footy? that had helped Rovers win games earlier in the season.
Goal kickers: White (3), Gleeson (2), Smith (2), Kettle, Corbett, Hille, Rootsey, Sharpe, Hendry, Schafer, Bice.
Best: Ross, O?Brien, Hendry, Rootsey, McDonald, White, Sharpe, Gleeson.
2. 3. (15) 3. 3. (21)
7. 9. (51) 3. 3. (21)
10. 12. (72) 7. 6. (48)
15. 18. (108) 7. 9. (51)