Monash Blues proved too strong for the Hampton Rovers on Saturday, getting up by 8 points in a low-scoring affair at Monash University.
In windy conditions, the Rovers came out of the blocks poorly and the home side capitalised kicking two goals early on. While Hampton improved from late in the first term, it was the home side that managed to maintain their advantage throughout the game.
Hampton only kicked six goals for the game, two to Ed Turner with singles to Mark Devereaux, from a sensational collect from a throw in where he split the pack and goaled from 15m, to James Short who capitalized on what was the best bit of team work for the day where Jess Lovig collected at half back, passed to Ed Turner in the centre who hit Short on the chest, he kicked truly and the other was from Adam McNeil who wheeled onto his right from 50m out and banged through a great goal. Apart from that, highlights were few and far between.
The Rovers backs were under pressure from the first bounce. Monash had probably the best marking forward line Hampton has come up against and despite the windy conditions, pulled down the big marks all day. They clearly knew their home ground well and the way they moved from the defensive to the attacking flank allowed them to have clear control at the main break.
Ben Traeger-Haig was moved from his customary half-back position to take up a tagging role on one of Monash’s playmakers and, while outsized, effectively cut his opponent out of the final three quarters of the game for his best performance of the year.
It was a close contest all day. For a short time in the third quarter, Monash extended their lead to four goals but the Rovers just kept coming and in the final quarter, appeared to have all the play. However, as has been the case for the past three weeks, Hampton has been unable to put the score on the board. At one stage, the margin was within a goal and while the Rovers outscored Monash three goals to one in the last, they just couldn’t hit the front.
Ed Turner was the only multiple goal kicker for the Rovers with two, taking his season tally to 21 while Ben Traeger-Haig and Jay Ting were amongst the best players.
That’s the third consecutive loss for Hampton with the ledger squared at three wins and three losses. Next week it’s Oakleigh away at WA Scammell Reserve in a must-win game. It’s a rare away triple header with the U19s kicking it off at 9:20am.
HAMPTON ROVERS 1.2 2.6 3.8 6.10 (46)
MONASH BLUES 3.3 4.5 6.6 7.12 (54)
Goal Kickers: B. Traeger-Haig 2, S. Burggraaff , A. McNeil , M. Devereaux , J. Short
Best Players: J. Ting, B. Traeger-Haig, A. McNeil, M. Devereaux, K. Pinto, K. McNeil
The Reserves also fell short, going down by three goals while at Boss James Reserve, the Thirds were outclassed by top-side St Kevins.
The only win for the club again came from the Under 19s who defeated Melbourne High by 57 points. Cam Jones starred with six goals while Jack Steward was best on. Click here for the full match report.