Round 7 saw us return to Woodville for the second time this season to face the Eagles. With most colleges playing trial matches, we had a total of 9 changes to our side from the previous week and we knew the Eagles would be in a similar position and that this would be a very different match compared to the last time we played them. Taj Spencer, Jack Secomb and Oscar Grant came in to the side for their first U18 games. It is always exciting to see players get an opportunity and this takes us to 39 players that have placed in 2022 so far.
The match was always going to be quite scrappy with the conditions causing the ball to be slippery and spend a lot of time on the ground. The Eagles were able to capitalize better in the first quarter and kicked the first three goals of the game. From quarter-time onward we were able to get ourselves back in to the game and pull away with a handy lead, but two late 3rd quarter goals meant we only led by 1 point at the last change. Whilst the Eagles missed some chances in the final term, we played very well and kicked 4 unanswered goals to run out 20 point winners.
With so many changes to the side, a slow start where the Eagles got the jump and difficult playing conditions, this group showed they are a tight group and are willing to do the hard work to push through some obstacles. A lot of critical efforts in this match (smothers, chases, spoils etc) won’t come up on the stats sheet but they are just as important as the disposals and goals, and we highlighted how pleased we were after the game in these areas to the boys.
Harry Barnett was outstanding as he rucked all day but also led our possession count and scored 2 goals. Cain Satanek and Finn Higham (amongst others) were excellent in defence and ensured we held up well throughout the match. Adam Bunworth and Liam Westdijk combined for 16 clearances and 50 disposals between them, and Judd Hansen accumulated 25 disposals from half-forward off the back of his amazing workrate up the oval.
I’d also like to recognize a recent achievement by our leading goal-scorer, Tom Scully. Tom has recently been added to the National Academy on the back of his great start to the year which is fantastic news. Whilst we now lose Tom to college football for a few weeks, we wish him all the best with this National program.
We head to the bye after 11 straight weeks of football including trials. It has been a good start for us and we look forward to building each week when we return. Our next match is on Saturday, May 21 and is again against the Eagles, this time 2:45pm at home. This match will see the two sides play for the Jake Watson Shield and is easily our most significant match on the calendar. Let’s get lots of red and black there to support our current playing group and recognise those that we’ve sadly lost in the past.
Best: Harry Barnett, Cain Satanek, Finn Higham, Adam Bunworth, Judd Hansen, Liam Westdijk
Goals: Tom Scully (4), Harry Barnett, Padrick O’Donoghue (2), Harrison Barker (1)
Talent Manager & U18 Coach