Playing at X Convenience Oval at 10:30am we knew that Centrals would be a tough opponent on their home deck.
This proved to be true as the Bulldogs came out strong in the first quarter kicking four goals and two behinds to our three goals and two behinds. After discussing our ball movement and toughness around the contest at quarter time, we responded well, kicking five goals in the second.
In the second half, we got the game on our terms, kicking 11 goals and holding Centrals to just one. Our ability to share the football and move it forward was a standout as we went inside 50 64 times while holding Centrals inside 50s to 35.
Damon Pitt and Brayden Rachwal were standouts up forward as they kicked 4.3 and 4.2 respectively and both took seven marks. In the middle, Beau Baldwin was influential with 29 disposals, two goals and three clearances. Baldwin was supported by Connor Butcher and Declan Tomney who both finished with 22 disposals and a goal each. Playing on the wings, Grant Catalano and Jacob Jones lead the way with their tackling efforts as they laid seven and six tackles respectively while also collecting 21 and 18 disposals.
Despite the slow start, the Redlegs showed their ability to absorb pressure and continue to compete at a high level. Our brand of Norwood football stood strong throughout the game and we will take a lot of learnings as we prepare to play Centrals again two weeks after the bye.
CENTRALS: 4.2 6.3 7.5 7.6 (48)
NORWOOD: 3.2 8.3 11.6 19.8 (122)
GOALS: Pitt 4, Rachwal 4, Foster 2, Baldwin 2, Rahui 2, Butcher, Jones, Pedler, Sellen, Tomney
BEST: Baldwin, Pitt, Jones, Thomas, Mead
On Saturday we travelled out to take on the Dogs at Elizabeth. The last time we went there we had our biggest loss of the year. Playing Centrals out there was always going to be tough. We have had a strong month and went out there with plenty of confidence. We also welcomed back our co-captain Jacob Newton after a strong state carnival.
I felt the boys started strongly and we had our fair share of the footy, but we struggled to put some scoreboard pressure on. The intensity and effort was there, but just lacked some polish going forward. Our backline held up well and held off Centrals forward entries well.
After kicking the first in the second, we dropped off in all areas – which we have done so well over the last five to six weeks. We allowed Centrals to kick the next four goals without much pressure, as a coaching group we were very frustrated. The boys were not playing at the required level which we knew they could play. At halftime the boys were challenged.
The boys responded well, we kept Centrals goalless and found ourselves in front at three-quarter time. We managed to wear them down with a contested game and we finally were able to get our work rate level higher than theirs. It might not have been pretty, but all you can ask for as a coach is a response, which the players did, and you could see the boys had some belief.
We managed to hold on by 13 points, which is a 137-point turnaround from the last time we played them out there. We have a bye coming up this week and this was the last game we had all players available due to college. With three games to go, we are hoping that players that have not been playing will take their opportunities to have that winning feeling.
CENTRALS: 0.2 4.5 4.6 6.6 (42)
NORWOOD: 1.3 2.3 5.6 8.7 (55)
GOALS: Paris 2, Wood, Mustaca, Penna, Foster, Barilla, Hogan
BEST: Lewis, Halfpenny, Bowman, Newton, Foster