Round 13 Hornsby Eagles -.-.84 defeated St Ives 3.6.24
This week against St Ives saw the Eagles have a relatively easier game against an undermanned opposition. With St Ives going into the game with only 15 on the field, it meant that we had to have 5 players on our interchange up until half time.
We apologise to the players who sat on the bench for the entire first quarter and others for the second, as we could not invoke the rotation system. This was due to the Eagles controlling all of the play with only a four man forward line set up and the entire backline not getting a touch with the ball not coming down their end making it impossible to rotate.
Dave and I would also like to sincerely thank Brett, Dylan, Nic, Hayden, Ollie S and Max who without complaint played a quarter each for St Ives in the second half when asked by our Coaching group. This allowed all players to play out the second half without a bench and gave St Ives an advantage of 1 extra player on the field for that half.
The Eagles opened the game with all the play in our forward half winning the ball across the centre line and driving deep towards goal continuously, keeping to our structures in the game plan.
Unfortunately, we could not capitalize on our conversion for goal and at one stage had kicked 2 goals, 9 behinds before we put our kicking boots on finishing with 8 goals, 10 behinds to zero for the quarter.
We had to mix things up to start the second quarter as we only had 2 points before the Mercy rule kicked in. It was decided to rotate the 5 players who sat out the first quarter onto the field and rotate the backs to the forward line.
This was not ideal for the team, as we had to lose the team structure that each line group has been carrying out with diligence over the last 4 games. Though this destabilized the game plan, it also gave our players the opportunity to step up to the plate in a new position.
The changes allowed St Ives to even up the scoring throughout the quarter before we switched back to playing our team in their normal positions for the second half.
Highlights for the game included the return of Jeff from his terrible shoulder injury against Marouba earlier in the season, who delighted the fans and coaches with a brilliant display kicking 5 goals and making it look like he had never been away.
Woody was made Captain and put in an outstanding effort running off the wing, creating run through our midfield and delivering with precision to our forwards on the lead.
Conor was awarded his 100th game medallion before the game and continues to be a tower of strength in defence and took the opportunity to kick two goals when having a crack up forward.
Blake gave off the best sheperd of the day after passing off the ball and letting his team-mate convert the attack into a goal. Jack continues to work hard all over the ground, tackling ferociously while Christian was a brick wall, propelling and rebounding the ball into attack hitting his target everytime.
The team would do well to take inspiration from Dom, who time after time followed through with second and third efforts at the ball. He won the taps to follow them up, contest the loose ball and give off to a receiver, allowing us to clear out of the centre on numerous occasions.
The centre line set plays are getting better as each game passes and the boys introduced a new set play with success following practice during the week.
The forward line this week was all ablaze with Liam and Jourdan having the game of their lives kicking 9 goals between them.
Life was a little harder from a statistical point of view for the backline, but the credit goes to all the boys because our importance is not the individual stats, it’s how well they carried out their roles and accountability. St Ives entered their forward 50 on seventeen occasions and scored 3 goals. Our defenders are the tightest in the competition and continue to make the correct choices, head for the boundary, back themselves in every contest, run and deliver back up field.
This week sees us returning to take on North Ryde – we cannot get ahead of ourselves and think each game is like the last….it isn’t….we have to continue to do the hard yards, put in the second and third efforts, be accountable to each other, stick to the game plan and communicate on the field.
15 Tap out wins to St Ives 11 and 18 centre clearances. Hornsby won 64% of the clearances
We went inside 50m arc, 48 times for 20 goals (42% max score rate), St Ives 17 times for 3 goals (17%). Our conversion rate continues to be an area we need to wok on with 30 behinds scored by us – this demonstrated that our zone worked sensationally in locking the ball in when St Ives were kicking out, though could have easily seen our goal scoring ending up a lot higher - this will be critically important for us to correct this come finals as it may be the difference between winning and losing.
Contested possessions: Eagles 46 v Baulko 29
Christian – 20 Kicks, 14 Handballs, 5 Marks, 1 Tackles, 1 Goal
Woody – 22 Kicks, 11 Handballs, 5 Marks, 3 Tackles, 1 Goal
Liam – 19 Kicks, 5 Handballs, 8 Marks, 5 Goals
Jack – 17 Kicks, 3 Handballs, 9 Marks, 1 Tackle, 1 Goal
Jourdan – 15 Kicks, 5 Handballs, 2 Marks, 4 Goals
Goal Scorers: 5 Jeff, Liam, 4 Jourdan, 2 Conor, 1 Woody, Brett, Christian, Jack
Man of the Match : Anthony Woodward – Great Captains performance, ran hard to every contest, gave the team options, spread and delivered with accuracy.