In a familiar pattern we again were very competitive in the first quarter. I thought we transitioned the ball well from the backline and we forced turnovers in our forward half through strong pressure and being well set up behind the ball. We again however failed to take all our opportunities due to a lack of composure with ball in hand. In particularly we missed three opportunities to hit a short target inside f50m. On numerous occasions we rushed our disposal perhaps feeling under more pressure than we really were. The second quarter was well below expectations and we failed in numerous areas. We allowed far too many running goals from stoppages in the middle of the ground which was due to a lack of defensive chase and hesitant movement from those in front of the ball. A 10% drop in both of these areas will cost you dearly against a team with pace and high skill level. When we did have strong defensive field position, we were far too reactive and flat footed. We have protected the corridor well this year, however Norwood possessed through far too easily. Our positioning broke down and we will need to rectify this during the week. A seven goal to zero quarter is simply unacceptable and we need to continue to look for a way to stem the tide when momentum is against us. Norwood kicked the first in the third quarter to extend their lead however from here we did find some even ground. I thought our forwards were terrific in their contested ball in f50 and our mids had some effective take aways from stoppages. In the final term we again matched the opposition. We had more inside 50 entries, scoring shots, clearances and possessions. For the most part, we defended better however poor errors under pressure coughed up too many scoring opportunities again. Overall, I was pleased with the resilience shown after half-time. The momentum was clearly against us however individually and collectively we persisted. This may seem like a small win in the context of the season, however it is an important win none the less. Overall, when reviewing the game, I don’t believe we defending with everything we had and our contested ball was inconsistent. We will revisit these areas during the week. However excluding the second term, the game was very even. In fact during this time we had nine more I50m entries and only two less scoring shots. Our inability to play four quarters continues to haunt us. All I can say is that we will continue to explore all avenues to find a solution to this.
I thought Kaine Stevens had a very strong game, in particular in the second half. His composure with the ball was of particular note. Josh Ryan was again impressive in defence. I was also pleased with Nigel Osborne who was given a close checking role after half time. He was strong in the contest and played to instructions perfectly. Tom Keough gave his all again and was a strong presence at stoppages while although not a massive impact with ball in hand, I thought Isaac Johnson’s willingness to chase and compete was commendable.
I understand that we are not having the season we had all hoped for. I spoke to the players post game about ensuring we are working harder than any other team to improve. This is something we can control and will continue to be our focus.