Rovers belt Brunswick at the Boss

It was another lopsided affair on Saturday, with Hampton Rovers dismantling Brunswick by 163-points at Boss James Reserve. The win increases the Rovers percentage to 402% on the division one ladder.

It’s four straight wins to start the 2018 season, however the Rovers won’t rest on their laurels, with games against the stronger teams in the division in the next five rounds, including the also-undefeated Ormond in round nine.

In perfect conditions, the game was essentially over half way through the first quarter.  By the first break, Hampton had kicked 11.4 and but for a very sloppy bit of play where they seemed to want to invoke their own mercy rule, the Wickers would have been held scoreless.  From there, the game was a procession.  Brunswick scored two goals in three quarters of footy and just had no answer to the rampaging Rovers, who finished with 49 scoring shots to six.  Fourteen goalkickers for the afternoon with Oscar Roberts and Speedy McPherson kicking give goals apiece in dominant displays.  Speedy would have had six but for the charity he handed off to Josh Broadley in the square late in the last.

Lachy Cairns and Mat Care were having a picnic on their respective wings and, while the opposition tagged Christian Carnovale for part of the first quarter, he seemed to bob up around the ground picking up possessions at will.  Cam Hetherington, Matt Rieniets and Oscar Roberts kicked eight goals between them in a very productive performance.

Josh Pavlou in his 200th club game put on in a dominant performance using his strength and speed to great advantage.  For the fourth week in a row, Hampton has restricted the opposition to fewer than 30 points, a sensational effort by the back six.  Great to see Adam McNeil, James Prosser, Ben Traeger-Haig, Harry Crisp and Luke Deville controlling that back line.

Shem Curry must feel the pressure on those days when the Women’s team aren’t playing.  His role as assistant coach for the Women means that he has to carry the burden of his own personal cheer squad at most home games – it’s clear that that is pushing him to greater efforts. A set-shot goal from the clubrooms pocket had his cheer squad in full voice.  Adam Schaeche continues his fine form on the ball, and his teaming with Josh Broadley in the ruck is improving each week.  The stats boys reported 75 inside-50s on Saturday for the Rovers.

All in all, a strong four quarter performance, but it was against an opposition who have yet to have a win.  Next week, the Hampton is away to West Brunswick at Royal Park, who are 2-2 and will no doubt be more of a challenge for the in-form Rovers.

HAMPTON ROVERS  11.4  15.10  22.15  28.21 (189)
BRUNSWICK    1.0  2.1  2.2  4.2 (26)
Goal Kickers: J. McPherson 5, O. Roberts 5, M. Care 3, J. Donald 3, M. Rieniets 2, C. Carnovale 2, L. Cairns, S. Curry, L. Deville, J. Broadley, S. Clements, A. McNeil, A. Schaeche, C. Hetherington
Best Players: A. McNeil, H. Crisp, B. Traeger-Haig, M. Care, C. Carnovale, L. Cairns

Watch the full match replay >

Thanks as always to all our volunteers including Kam Atkins for timekeeping, Sarah Cleary and Carly Murphy for running water, Daniel Andersen for running and Sam Care for the last-minute ice-run to allow the players to have ice baths to assist with recovery.

The Reserves also made it four wins on the trot with a 57-point win over Brunswick (view report) and the Under 19s recorded their second win of the season, defeating Old Mentonians by nine points. The Thirds went down by 10 points and the Women had a bye.

The 2018 Rovers ANZAC Day Luncheon and on-ground commemorative service prior to the main game was memorable. Great work by Bill Mirabito and the Hampton RSL once again. As the haunting strains of the Last Post echoed over Boss James Reserve at 2pm on Saturday, it was apparent that there is no need to go to the MCG on ANZAC Day to be moved by the significance of the occasion.  A sensational young bugler contrasted greatly with the entertainment Bill and the Hampton RSL had organized inside for lunch.  In 1967 two local girls, the Bradley Sisters, Suzie and Leonie,  spent eight months in Vietnam entertaining Australian troops.  We were lucky enough to have them at lunch on Saturday and with Nashy interviewing them on their recollections of that time he had the audience in stitches as they amusingly recalled some of the colour of the time (“why wouldn’t we have gone, the audience were 500 Chris Hemsworth’s), to the horror (a helicopter they arrived in at one town was shot down moments after they’d disembarked).  The sisters then sang a moving version of the Peter Paul and Mary classic “We’re leaving on a Jet Plane” accompanied by the 100 or so people who had crowded into the Wright-Scarlett Pavilion for lunch.  Not to be outdone, their guitarist, Gavin, finished the set with a rendition of Khe Sanh. Our special guest was Vietnam veteran David Wassall, who spoke about the sacrifices and challenges faced by returning servicemen, whether from Vietnam or the more recent conflicts in the middle east.

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