Sister act as Women win

A Rovers record with four pars of Rovers siblings taking the field in the Women’s great win over Mazenod. Elsewhere, the Seniors were taught a lesson by top side Caulfield.

For the Women’s match, it was sister act for the Rovers v Mazenod away game with the McLaren, Hurst, Milliken, and Cleary’s all taking the field for the Rovers in Sundays tough battle for 2nd position on the ladder.

The Nods came out firing in the first quarter, with a barrage of inside 50’s; were it not for the “never say die” attitude of the back 6, led by the BOG Mandy Naylor, the score line could’ve been worse. We were 1 goal down at quarter time.

The girls rallied in the second quarter, with our midfield of Max, Kristy, Amy, Caitlin, and Alba first in on the ball and making the most of the ruck dominance of Bianca, Tash, and Jess. What can’t be overlooked is the important shut down role by Gabby on their skilful (but frustrated) number 13, negating her influence while finding plenty of the ball herself and utilising that booming left foot to get the ball forward. A clever goal by Tarryn Hurst had the Rovers trailing by just 2 points at half time. The tide of the game was turning.

The third quarter typified the Rovers Women’s footy, tough at the ball, run and carry, with linking play moving the ball through the field with ease. Courtney Wood crashed in time after time to her opposition, her second and third efforts against girls three times her size inspiring the team. While, Chloe McLaren read the ball in the air, marking, and taking on the play with run and bounce off half back (the training focus on bouncing the ball is paying off!).

An early goal to the Rovers in the fourth quarter, and her second for the game to our sole goal scorer, the skilful Tarryn Hurst, had the Rovers a goal up. For the second week in a row the girls were down in numbers on the bench with some injuries, however, despite this they ran harder and were hungrier than the Nods, with the Rovers coming away with the win 1.4 – 10 to 2.6 – 18.  It should be noted that had the girls not hit the post three times in the game we would have enjoyed a far more comfortable win! The Rovers Women are now outright 2nd on the ladder.

Best: Mandy Naylor, Max Benkhe, Tarryn Hurst, Courtney Wood, Caitlin McLaren
Goals: Tarryn Hurst 2

The Seniors faced a tough challenge against ladder-leaders Caulfield Grammarians at Glenhuntly Oval. The Rovers were absolutely smashed in the first quarter against a very slick outfit, held our ground with them in the second and third, and in the last they just ran riot and had 17 scoring shots to our three.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom.  Caulfield are on top both in the seniors and reserves and are having a sensational season.  Having said this in the second and third quarters they kicked 5.4 to our 8 points. Similar scoring shots yet our effort was not rewarded.  As the coach said after the game “our efforts were brave and our commitment to get the ball were great it was just that we were not rewarded on the scoreboard”.

Cam Hetherington having played most of his footy on the forward line went back on Saturday and had the job of minding the opposition full forward.  A big job as he was 200cm and could actually run, mark and kick! I thought Cam did a fine job, the delivery through there midfield didn’t really give Cam any chance when his opponent was on the lead but I thought on all other contests Cam had him covered and his run and delivery out of defence was a highlight.  Carne playing a loose man down back most of the day was effective and was given the award for our best for the day.  Adam McNeil, back from a groin injury, was effective and I was surprised that Roland DeBiase wasn’t named in our best as I thought his run and carry all day, against the odds, showed great fighting spirit.  If we could all break tackles like him we’d be a far better team.  Josh Pavlou, released from the backline, was given a tagging role on a couple of Caulfield mids and in that second and third quarters it was his aggression at his opponent, in fact any opponent near him (?) that really unsettled the Caulfield boys and showed that when under pressure the mistakes flowed.  I thought Mat Care was our best up forward.  With his fitness improving he showed on occasions that dash of a couple of seasons ago and I’m sure as the season progresses he will make greater scoreboard impact.

It has been great to see the improvement in the Reserves as the 2017 has progressed.  The opposition on Saturday were ladder leaders, undefeated, with a percentage of over 300%.  A big task for the boys.

We came out firing and managed to hold a small lead at the first break.  The boys were moving the ball well but, as with the seniors, just not doing the damage on the scoreboard.  It was a fighting loss and when you consider that their winning margin was their second lowest of the season it was great play by our boys.

Great to see Thom McCarthy continue his great form on his return to footy in 2017.  I still remember his last game where he was the victim of one of the greatest travesties of justice that I’ve seen in many years of VAFA football.  His run and carry and good kicking was a feature yesterday in what was a great game.  Ben Kezilas, down back, maintained his form and for the amount of times the ball rocketed into the forward line he did a great job on keeping his opponent on a short lead.

Tempers were frayed on many occasions and no doubt the way the decisions always seemed to go against us was frustrating for players and supporters alike.  Caulfield scored at least 4 goals from frees given or missed.

Jesse “the Duck” Donald now with about 4 games under the belt is getting back to that premiership form of a couple of years ago and must be close to a senior recall.  His hard work in the middle to either keep the ball or stop the opposition is a feature of his game.

Great to see Sammy Bradford back on the park.  While probably short of a run that didn’t stop him from taking on the opposition given the chance and I’m sure he’ll be aiming at a return to senior footy.

The Under 19 firsts weren’t good enough against Marcellin. A change in rules this week caused havoc in the team when our “overage” players were forced to play in our U19(2) team and will be doing so for the rest of the season.  As a result, we lost Cam Cullis, Jack Daley, Corey Jones and one other from the team named on Thursday.

Up against the top side (who have 40 on their list but field only one U19 team and can play the overage players) it was going to be a big ask to pull off a win.  A 7 goal lead at half time to Marcellin and it was virtually game over.  Still, the team fought on and Marcellin didn’t really increase the lead after half time.

Josh Broadley, playing his first game in the higher division on the ball showed he has the talent to thrive at that level.  Steve Raymer continued his good form down back and clearly beat his opponent on the day as well as providing plenty of drive all day.  The coach told me that he thought Tom Marron off half back uses the ball as well as any player in the club and his precision kicking was a feature of his game.

The skipper, Scotty Ebbott, continued his good form in the middle and his ability to extract the ball from the centre bounces was greatly valued.  He was joined by Sam Callaghan for his first game up  from the (2)s and looked comfortable in the midfield.  Good to see young Craig Clarke in the goals and best players.

The Under 19 seconds had a great seven-point win over local rivals Oakleigh. No doubt coach Sam Care is having great effect on his young charges in his first season of coaching.  Great improvement each week, an enthusiastic bunch of players and with the influx of the older players for the rest of the year who knows where the boys will finish the season?  At present, they sit in 6th place and having knocked off second placed team Oakleigh on Saturday finals action in September must be a chance.

In the first half on Saturday they dominated the opposition.  Five goals up at the main break and the spirits were high – maybe too high?  Our scoring dried up after half time and with 1.6 to 4.11 we were lucky to sneak over the line.

This was largely due to a great mark and goal to Corey Jones with minutes to go to seal the game.

It was Ash Hoar who picked up the BoG award for the day.  He was a rock at CHB and his interceptions of the opposition forward thrusts were the highlight.  Sam Taylor and Tom Butters were both solid and putting in strong performances against one of the top sides.

The back six deserve a lot of the credit for the win.  Under huge pressure after half time with the game being played in the back half for large periods of time, they didn’t wilt under the pressure and kept fighting on.

The coach thought that the highlight of the day was Sam Taylor collecting the loose ball down back, passing to Doddsy who gave the quick handball to Jack Daley who hit Will Wood lace out.  Will, the team’s leading goalkicker, didn’t miss!

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