In short, we played below expectations on the weekend. I felt we were the more dominant team in the first quarter and had opportunity to put a break on the opposition. We had good pressure on the ball carrier and forced the opposition into numerous turnovers. To have 14 to 5 inside 50m entries and only lead by 2 points was disappointing. Three missed set shots were costly. The second quarter was poor. We gave up a goal within 60 seconds due to poor defensive checking. From here we lost too many 50/50 contests, coughed up the ball in tight, had unforced kicking errors in b50 and loss of structure at restarts. On too many occasions, individuals did not put in the required effort to compete (stay in a contest) or chase to stop the opposition counterpunch. The domino effect of losing 50/50 ball is significant. Due to the scoreboard pressure we became uncomposed going inside 50m and tended to rush our kick instead of looking to maintain possession. Whilst I thought we competed well in f50m, we did not give our forwards the advantage expected with our disposal or decision making. Unfortunately, the third term was not a whole lot better on the scoreboard however for slightly different reasons. I was more pleased with our attack on the contested ball and we had a strong quarter at restarts. Again however, our effectiveness entering f50m was poor and the opposition began to transition the intercepted ball quickly to the opposite side of the ground. Despite best efforts, we found ourselves chasing multiple numbers on the outer side and could not impact the contest. Defending the turnover is an area for immediate improvement. We persisted in the final term and eventually found some cohesion entering f50m. Again, we had some real ascendancy at stoppages and used our handballs well. However again, I felt the opposition rebounded the ball on too many occasions without ability to slow on intercept.
Overall, we did not play to our ability and are very disappointed with the outcome. We will continue our quest to find four quarters of strong football. We again showed early that our best football is more than competitive. Key learning will come from this game and we expect an improved showing in our next match versus South Adelaide.
Kaine Stevens battled for the full game and was by far our leading midfielder on the day. Pat Levicki was reliable in defence and Murray Waite was strong at the contested ball. It was great to have Kyle Kirk play his first league game and pleasing to see his immediate influence. A fine reward for consistent football in our Development team.