Coming off a strong performance against Port Adelaide, it was important that we continued this momentum into Saturday’s match against Adelaide. On an individual level, with strong performances from our Development team in recent weeks, competition for spots remains strong. I felt that offensively our first quarter was very good, with many scoring opportunities created from strong running and good skill execution. I was however critical at quarter time with regards to our team defence through the middle part of the ground. As a result, the opposition had also many strong scoring opportunities and if not for some strong individual efforts in our back 50m, we may have found ourselves behind at quarter time. I also asked for improvement around stoppages as we were not being first to the ball.
Our midfield responded well in the second term and although the loss of Tyler McPherson in the ruck was challenging, our mids began to win the contest and apply significant tackle pressure when required. Our backline continued to win the aerial contests and although the opposition still had some strong offensive movements, the players willingness to chase and pressure was much improved. At half time we held a 34 point. Our third quarter was both disappointing and pleasing. Disappointing in the fact that both our work rate and skill execution dropped. Pleasing in the fact that the players identified this themselves and adjusted during the quarter.
The final term was excellent. We again regained ascendancy at stoppages, our run and spread from stoppages also improved and we were able to keep the ball in our forward half for most of the quarter. To run out the game, whilst maintaining skill and decision making was another step forward for the group. The final winning margin was 69 points. We had many strong contributors on the day. Mason Middleton was outstanding with his aerial contests and more than held his own when moved into the ruck. Importantly, Mason’s work rate to reach contests or apply defensive pressure was also very good. Aaron Anderson had a terrific game both in the forward line and the midfield. Aaron’s contested ball work and ball use was a standout. Chris Burgess clearly enjoyed his move from defence to the forward line with five goals. It was pleasing to see Chris not only show versatility in position but also in his ability to win the ball in different ways in the forward 50m. I felt Jake Wilson and Josh Ryan both won their battles with Adelaide key forward’s and Jason Porplyzia and Jack Agostino played well as small backs. Kaine Stevens continued to work hard all day as a midfielder and again amassed in excess of 30 possessions.
We play Sturt this week who have obviously been the benchmark of the competition in recent years. This presents us with a timely opportunity to benchmark ourselves against the best.
Best on Ground –
1st – Mason Middleton | 2nd – Aaron Anderson | 3rd – Chris Burgess