This week was bittersweet for the boys as it showed that once again, against top of the table sides we can compete and even lead games even as one of the least experience sides in the competition. But with this reoccurring theme so to came the constant weaknesses – skill execution in vital positions on the field, an inability to score and our concession of goal streaks.
Being able to win almost all key statistical areas we look at, our usage and value aligned with such possession gain was just not anywhere near where we know it should be – and a lot of this comes down to our disposition as a side. Constantly losing is always going to sour a side and bring spirits down, but it is only when we lose ourselves (our collective brand and intent that we strive for) that these losses really become losses. The group to their credit is very understanding of this fact, driving this point home internally as much as the coaching staff are – it is simply that these cheap words fly around the change rooms post-game far easier than they do during the heat of battle.
We were held together by some brilliant individual efforts across the game – whether this be Connor Kent and Peter Minervini showing what balanced modern midfield play should look like, Aidan Lake returning and instantly controlling the ruck contest, youngsters Cody Tape and Jacob Jones showing their senior counterparts what courage and technique together looks like on the ground, or our skipper Matthew Dnistriansky trying to pick the side up off their boot straps from behind the ball and in the midfield. There is no doubt this week presents another tough challenge – against the top side who are in great form and have a strong base of consistent players with more experience than we do. However, we have also seen that other sides can take it up to them, and we ourselves have competed almost every week – we just cannot continue to switch off for these large chunks of quarters and allow the game to be decided by one scoring streak each week.
NORWOOD: 1.2 3.5 3.7 5.9 (39)
EAGLES: 2.1 3.5 9.8 13.12 (90)
GOALS: Kiesau 2, Pitt, Verrall, Joseph
BEST: Connor Kent, Peter Minervini, Aidan Lake, Matthew Dnistriansky, Cody Tape, Jacob Jones.