Seniors fall to Monash as Ressies get up

The Rovers produced their poorest performance of the season on Saturday, as top-placed Monash Blues ran out convincing winners at Boss James Reserve, while it was better news in the early game with the Ressies sneaking home in a thriller.

Monash Blues clearly remembered the drubbing Hampton gave them early in the season when the Rovers won 128 to 65 at Clayton, and this time around they returned the compliment, with interest.   28 points down at the first break, the university boys were in total control.

The Rovers went into the game with five players out from last week’s team, plus the coach due to Covid. Monash looked to be at full strength and they played that way.  Their full forward kicked seven which easily could have been 10 and he did it on the bit.

In the first quarter, the Rovers couldn’t get a score on the board, despite some hard running and heavy tackling. The boys had minimal inside 50s, as the visitors kicked 4.4.

The second quarter was more of the same with the only bright spark being the speed and fearlessness of Ned Gray was having an effect in his unexpected position on the back flank. Max Coughlin on the wing was winning his share as was Perko on the other wing and their opponents.

Benji was fighting gallantly in the ruck against the best ruckman in the competition.  It was a hard fought contest all day.  The first goal for the Rovers came at the 17 minute mark when Jim Keys took a courageous mark and kicked accurately from a long way out.  It was an arm wrestle where neither side could move the ball cohesively and consistently fell down in front of goal. 

At the main break, the Rovers were flat.  What has been the stability in the team, the backline, was struggling.  With Richard Atkins, Max Van Der Stratten, Ben Kneebush, Luke Deville and Lachie Carrigan all out, the Rovers were struggling. Their job wasn’t helped by the ease with which Monash attacked and delivered with minimal pressure from our midfielders.

The second half was dull. The conditions were also as the lights came on. Ben Marron kicked one goal in the third quarter and there were a couple of behinds but that was it on the scoreboard for the home side.  On the other side of the coin, Monash kicked 9 goals and their key forward ended up booting seven.

A time for reflection.  A few deep breathes, a couple of carefully planned training nights, and the boys will no doubt be keen as anything to get back out there this week against Parkdale Vultures.

Hampton Rovers           0.0       1.1-7    2.2-14              2.3-15
Monash Blues               4.4-28  5.6-36  10.10-70           14.12-96
Goal Kickers: J. Keys, B. Marron
Best Players: N. Gray, M. Coughlin, R. Fogarty, H. Crisp, O. Roberts, R. Leslie


The cry on Saturday was “Let’s win this for Lachie!”  An optimistic exhortation when you know that we are playing Monash who were third with only a couple of losses when the Rovers were clearly mid-table.  In other words, no one would have tipped us in any competition!

Still, the boys hung with them in the first half, gave them a belting in the third quarter to go from 11 points behind to 10 points in front and then in a frenetic last quarter where at one stage the Rovers were 2.2 ahead, we managed to hang on to record our best win for the year.

Great to see Sam Clements back from a couple of months of an overseas sojourn and playing well, Jack Garrow getting back to that form of a couple of years ago, Joey Wilson, banned from being a deep forward doing some clever things in the midfield, Jack Lloyd showing he hasn’t lost any of that running stamina and Zac Raghdo just doing the hard work in and under the packs.  With them on song and Jackson Manning showing the skill, Finn McMaster’s skills improving after a long layoff and of course father time, Lachie Wheeler showing that while age may have slowed him the desperation and commitment have not lessened we were still in with a chance.

In the end a great last quarter, enjoyed by all supporters who were enjoying the luncheon in the social rooms when the Ressies pulled off an unexpected win. Congratulations to Lachie Wheeler on breaking the all-time Rovers games record, with his 353 games eclipsing Barry Bird.

Hampton Rovers          2.2-14  4.6-30  7.11-53 11.12-78
Monash Blues              
3.4-22  6.5-41  6.7-43  11.10-76
Goal Kickers: H. Twigg 3, C. Jones 2, T. Stewart 2, S. Clements 2, J. Bowditch, M. LabibBest Players: J. Garrow, J. Wilson, S. Clements, Z. Raghdo, J. Lloyd

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