After a solid opening round effort our team were looking forward to testing their ability to play our brand of football better and for longer periods against another quality opposition. We knew going into the match that North would play a fast brand of footy and would challenge us to keep up with them on the scoreboard if we weren’t defending well.
The opening term began with some end to end football and we were able to make the most of our opportunities while rebounding North’s entries fairly consistently. Our high forward connection was a little slow in the back end of the quarter and this saw us lose our shape and make some poor decisions going forward. 2 turnover goals late in the first quarter saw North skip out to a 20 point lead in what was largely an even quarter of football.
We entered the second term confident that we could sharpen up our execution and make some headway into the lead North had built. At the time we probably didn’t recognise the importance the Northern end would play over the day with 15 of 20 goals in our match scored kicking to the Northern end. We were happy that we had arrested the late momentum North had gathered in the first quarter and midway through the second had held them goalless for the term and managed one ourselves. While we were happy that the momentum had changed somewhat, on reflection we probably didn’t make the most of the scoring end in the second term.
Much like the first quarter North found the goals late in the second and carried momentum into the half time break. The game was played on North’s terms in the third quarter and we lost our shape behind and in front of the ball. We will take a lot out of this period moving forward and hope to learn how to recognise and reorganise in match moving forward. North’s momentum served them well in the third and they piled on 4 goals to 1, to skip out to a 49 point lead heading into the final term.
Some structural changes at three quarter time giving us more speed, pressure and groundball capability as well as the freedom to play fast and chaotic saw us make a significant dent in the 49 point deficit. A 5 goal, 5 behind final term saw the final margin reduced to 14 points and saw us playing out the opposite role in a fast finish to the one we played a week earlier.
Again we will take some great learning opportunities from this match and are excited by the impact this will have on the development of our future talent. The week ahead sees us face Glenelg in an Easter Thursday night fixture which is sure to be a great occasion for all involved.