Good patches but not good enough
Round Number 2, Saturday, 16 April 2016
- Opponent: Uni Blues
- Match Result: Loss
- Played at: Away
Q1 Q2 Q3 Final Score Us 0.0.0 4.2.26 4.4.28 5.5.35 Them 4.2.26 7.3.45 9.5.59 11.8.74
Best Players: J. Rowe, J. Gaff, S. Cust, J. Rice, J. Rimington, L. Macleod
Saturday saw the Panthers travel to the picturesque surrounds of Melbourne University to take on another of this year’s flag fancies in University Blues. Two changes to last week’s team saw the return of one of our leaders in Ben Smithwick replacing the injured Jimmy Courtot, and the inclusion of Harry Hill making it seven debutants in two weeks. This is very exciting for the club and underpins our Generation Next mantra.
Uni Blues bounced out of the blocks and put four goals on us in the first quarter. The backline was under the pump and held out resolutely despite the avalanche of inside 50’s the opposition was generating. Our situation was not helped by the injury to Ben Smithwick early in the game. Benny had won the opening two centre clearances and his re-tweaking of his hamstring was a big blow to our rotations and inside midfield presence.
If there’s one thing that this group is, it’s that they are resilient. We came out in the second quarter and immediately replied with early goals to Sam Cust and our captain Cam Jones. The boys again led their opponents in tackle pressure and physical intent. This is outstanding from such a young group against physically bigger opponents and is a credit to the character of the team. We outscored Blues four goals to three and went in to half-time with our heads held high.
Unfortunately we lost one of our key defenders – Tom Chapman – to injury in the second quarter which further hampered our rotations and defensive options. The boys never complained and continued to go about their business, slowing Blues after they had scored two quick goals in the third quarter. We just couldn’t take our opportunities when we entered inside 50, missing three set shots for goal.
The boys played out the game with great courage after losing inspirational midfielder James Rimington to concussion and scored an early goal in the last quarter, but ultimately could not breach the gap. Uni Blues won the game in the end 11.8 (74) to 5.5 (35). Special mention to Julian Rowe who played his 100th game for the club and was magnificent down back all day.
We lick our wounds and prepare for our next opponent Old Melburnians in what shapes as a great battle at our home.