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2nds v Old Xaverians
Round Number 4, Saturday, 30 April 2016
- Opponent: Old Xaverians
- Match Result: Loss
- Played at: Away
Q1 Q2 Q3 Final Score Us 0.2 0.2 0.3 00.03.03 Them 5.3 14.4 16.11 21.18.144
Best Players: B. Consalvo, C. Wallace, G. Baldwin, S. Landgren, L. Fotheringham, H. Maxwell
Another tough week for the reserves, coming up against a very strong Old Xavs unit with a number of regular Seniors playing for them. By contrast, we only had four players who had played senior football for the club. We know we are a young and inexperienced group, but we are learning every week and there is still plenty of positivity and up-side in the group that will ensure our output improves in the following weeks.
It was fantastic to welcome back a number of Panthers for a game this weekend, who have missed long periods of football for a variety of reasons. Matthew Parker played his first game since the final round of 2013, having recovered from a severe ankle injury obtained in a very serious overseas accident. Matt showed he hasn’t missed a beat (apart from the match fitness!) and immediately showed his poise and experience off half-back, rebounding regularly in the first quarter.
Sam Landgren also returned after over a year without playing due to knee injuries, and shone as one of our best players all around the ground. He provided a solid aerial target for us, and will continue to do so over coming weeks. We also welcomed back Grant ‘Spirit’ Baldwin, a Panther Premiership player and one of the club’s greatest contributors over the last 6-7 years. With work commitments and regular overseas travel with Cricket Australia, it has meant Grant’s availability to pull on the jumper has been limited in recent years. He starred on Saturday, reverting straight back to his long and accurate kicking on both sides of his body that saw him previously dominate at senior level.
Also a big thank you to two other Panthers, Lachy Mahon and Harry Maxwell, who put their hand up late on Friday to pull on the boots for the first time this year to assist with numbers. We again only had 20 players which is hurting our ability to compete for long periods of the game.
To the game, and despite another large defeat and our inability to kick a goal, the group will learn a lot from the game on Saturday. Again our starts and second quarters in particular are letting us down, as we concede easy goals through unaccountability, turnovers and a lack of concentration. Our second half was much better, restricting Old Xavs to only 6 goals for the half after they had kicked 15 in the first two quarters.
Around the ball, Lewis Fotheringham toiled away for most of the game in the ruck, and Bruno Consalvo played a full game in the centre, laying 7 tackles and having multiple clearances. I’d like to make special mention of our back six players, in particular Campbell Wallace and Harry Maxwell who both played on very talented forwards. With the amount of ball coming in with quality service, their ability to compete in the air and play shut-down roles went a long way to helping the scoreboard not blow out even more.
This week we will have a very positive week on the track and we look forward to another chance to redeem ourselves and have a competitive game next Saturday. We’ve played four of the top five sides so far this year, and there has been a lot of learning for the whole group throughout this period. We’ll use this experience and galvanise as a group to come out stronger in the coming weeks.