Round 3 saw the Development Team head to Elizabeth to take on Central Districts who were in good form having won their opening two matches.
We went full of confidence having accounted of North Adelaide the week prior and feeling like we were in good form.
The opening quarter I felt the boys were flat, lacking the intensity and pressure I know we are capable of. On a positive note, however, our defense, led by Keelan Laube and James Bentley, stayed strong and a focus for the boys was our defensive transition which I felt we had struggled with in the opening two rounds, appearing to be much better this week.
We found ourselves 1 point down at quarter time, however, the coaches feeling was the game was being played on Centrals terms and our boys appeared to be slightly off
The second quarter we found ourselves under immense pressure on the back of some really good football by Central Districts. Whilst we battled and stayed in the game, our poor skill exaction, tackling and at times lack of composure when we had the ball during the quarter hurt us, with periods of time where Central were able to keep the ball in their half for an extended period.
Fortunately Central didn’t take the most of their opportunities and at the long break we trailed by only 16 points, however, the scoring shots were 11 to 5. Again our defense was strong and were able to withstand strong Central momentum.
After half time I felt whilst we never hit the form I know this group can produce and some uncontrollable’ s didn’t quite fall our way, to the lads credit we continued to fight throughout the second half.
The third quarter saw us fight our way back into the game, on the back of some advantage at stoppages and our forwards taking some of their opportunities. It was great to see our midfield work themselves on top, on the back of being one rotation down, after losing Scott Bentley in the opening minutes of the first quarter to a hamstring. Cooper Patterson who was finding it tough in defence in the first half went in to the ruck and fought manfully, whilst Aaron Anderson and Isaac Johnson started to find the football, giving our forwards an opportunity.
Three quarter time saw us 11 points down, however, the boys had wrestled back some momentum and even though we hadn’t produced our best all day, the game was now there to be won.
The last quarter saw a see sawing affair with the boys showing the urgency and pressure we had missed for the first three quarters. At times throughout the quarter I felt we would win the game, however, our skill execution and failure to capitalize on numerous forward entries saw the boys go down by 3 points.
After the game we spoke about our intensity and pressure, as well preparation in a bid to make sure we learn from the game, and improve ready for a big Good Friday battle with the Eagles.
Well done to our best players – Isaac Johnson (20 disposals / 2 goals), Lyndon Hupfeld (9 disposals / 4 goals), Keelan Laube (22 disposals), James Bentley (25 disposals), Sam May (21 disposals) and Conor Noonan (15 disposals)