We entered Friday nights clash with high expectation on the back of sound recent form. I was extremely happy with our offensive movement in the first quarter with clean skills and sound decision making. In particular, I thought our in close work at stoppages was a stand out for the year so far. Whilst content with a three goal lead a quarter time, I was wary that Glenelg had looked equally dangerous when they had possession. We tried to address this issue with slight changes to our defensive structure which paid some dividend in the second term. Unfortunately, our ability to win the ball at stoppages fell away and Glenelg’s increased tackle pressure led to forced and unforced errors. With momentum against us, the rest of the quarter became a battle. Our inability to arrest momentum changes is something that we need to address. What was most disappointing was that not only were we beaten at clearances and in general possession for the quarter, Glenelg doubled our tackle rate. Simply, if we are not winning the ball first, we need to be better at pressuring the opposition. Importantly, I felt we did take back some momentum late in the term however we need to not only learn how to make this happen earlier, but how to also turn this into scoring opportunities.
Despite not scoring in the third term, I felt we had our share of opportunities and forward 50m entries. Glenelg’s spare in defence started to have an impact in marking contests which appeared in part due to rushed disposal and also our forwards not adjusting their positions. Importantly, our defensive pressure was satisfactory. Our mids got right on top early in the last term and some productive inside 50m entries were finished off well by Zac Bates and Tom Keough. Some early scoreboard pressure gave us some chance of closing further on Glenelg however we needed to make the most of every opportunity for this to occur and unfortunately we were unable to do this. The final score line (25 point deficit) was a fair representation of the game. Glenelg finished ahead in possessions, clearances, tackles and contested marks so our ability to find the ball needs to become more consistent, whilst our ability to defend the opposition (team defence) needs to become more readily adaptable to the differing opposition ball movement patterns. Personally, I learnt a lot from this match and feel very confident that I and the team can continue to improve. We are a work in progress and we will do everything we can to learn and adapt.
On the night, consistent four quarter performers were rare. I thought Josh Schiller lead the way in this respect and was very productive with hand and foot. Zac Bates continued to impress with tackle pressure and creative ball movement across half forward. Jake Wilson had the better of his contest with Jesse White and Logan Hill adapted well to multiple roles on the night. In particular, I thought his one on one contested work in defence was very good.
GLENELG 3.3 9.4 11.9 13.12 (90) | WEST 6.2 7.3 7.3 10.5 (65)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Schiller 25, Batley, K. Stevens 24, Hill 23, Porplyzia 19, Noble 17.
GOALS – Bates 2, Middleton, K. Stevens, Rankine, Karpany, Keough, Anderson, McPherson, Hill
Best on Ground –
1st – Josh Schiller | 2nd – Logan Hill | 3rd – Jono Beech
Best Team Man – Mason Middleton
1st – Elliot Dunkin | 2nd – Brett Turner | 3rd – Dustin Head