Tackers White were up against the Brunswick Dragons last Sunday led by Captain Joe. The lads have been training the house down and big things were expected, but in the first quarter we were jumped! Three goals to one in the first term had us on the back foot. But as Ross the Boss Lyon would say, ‘we can fix that’, and a good old fashioned bake at quarter time reminded the boys not to kick across goal coming out of defence. Lesson learned the Whites put on a clinic in the second term and piled on three goals to the Dragons one to square the scoreboard.
Our guys have been working on getting their hands to the ball first and they did that with aplomb.
The talk at half time was a happier one. The boys were playing great. A special mention to Jerry who kicked his first goal for the Bullants, a cracker from tight in the pocket. He had a bunch of touches and it was clearly his best game for the club. Go Jerry go!
The third term saw more steamrolling from the unstoppable Bullants and we kicked four goals. Another big improver Lachlan put his chewy snakes down for long enough to kick his first goal for the club. High fives Lachie!
The engine room of Tom V, Joe, Isaac, Eden and Tom A just kept winning ball out of the middle in the last quarter - highlighted by Joe giving the old ‘don’t argue’ to two bewildered Dragons, and Kes was pretty much unstoppable up forward finishing the day with a White season record of four goals. Great work Kes.
But this report wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning the goal of the day. Deep in the right forward pocket Jerry centred the ball to 15m out, right in front (following team rules!), Rocky was ready for the mark, that went through his hands for a solid falcon off his forehead that flew 10m to goal square into the waiting arms of Eddie who coolly slotted the funniest goal ever kicked by the Whites.
The best game of the year so far and the song was sung loud with smiling faces.
|Goal Kickers||Tom 4, Darcy 2, Ned 2, Harry 1|
A soggy Zwar Reserve was the venue for our round 8 clash with old foes Fitzroy. The pre-match address focused on communication. Coach Scott wanted to hear lots of talk, encourage each other to man up, be first to the ball and look after each other.
Ava (co-captain for the day with Daniel Wilson) got the game off to a flyer with a text book tap from the bounce. From there it took about 20 Seconds for Tom Maddison to slot through our first major. Ava was in fine form consistently winning the ruck contests an sending us into attack. Andre and Sam provided good service and drive towards goal and Tom finished off with his now trademark sidestep and run. It was a free flowing first quarter and our backs were kept busy. Tamer took 2 strong last line of defense marks and teamed up with Catlin for a great team tackle. Marcus showed desperation in defense and teamed up with Sam to drive our ball forward. Another great passage of play saw Tamer pass to Marcus who kicked on to Jack who lead us forward into attack. Ziggy took a strong mark that halted Fitzroy’s momentum late in the term and we went into the break with a tight contest on our hands.
The first quarter address dished out structural advice to consolidate the learning from Friday nights tactical training drills. It worked! Thomas G took a strong mark starting the highlights for the term, then Darcy roved the ball and kicked his first goal for the match. It wasn’t long before Darcy kicked truly in what could otherwise be described as a series of scrappy hard fought passages of play. Thomas G was everywhere taking more strong marks and sending the pill into attack.
Coach Scott pulled out his trusty mantra of ‘you need to want it more, be selfish, it’s our ball, you need to be faster and more desperate’ to motivate the tackers. ‘The Roys want the ball more than us, go get it!!’ As if that wasn’t enough motivation the team were asked to ‘do it for Patrick’ who was celebrating a birthday on Monday. The Premiership quarter was a see sawing affair with Fitzroy taking their opportunities and kicking more accurately than the little ants. Highlights included a crafty centering kick from Harry to Tom showing great thinking. An enormous tap out of the middle by Thomas. Felix had a shot on goal that just fell short. Tom’s second and third efforts paid off with two goals.
The Bullants wanted a home ground win and lifted their efforts to finish off the game strong. Ned kicked truly early on. This was followed up by a 6 pointer to Harry. Later in the term several kicks for goal fell just short. Thomas G was in everything having a break out performance. Ned wanted one more goal and ran himself ragged to get the opportunity. Sam marked, waited, spotted up Ned and he marked and slotted through a goal to close out the game.
The team shook hands, cheered the umpires and headed to the rooms. A rousing rendition of the club song with birthday boy Patrick in the middle closed out a great Sunday morning. Thanks all who helped out on the day. Thanks Jim for another great match report and well done Bullants!!
As I said in addressing both teams at the end of the game, "I love playing Fitzroy....games are always highly skilled and in great spirit..." It is clear that as a club, Fitzroy share the same values as we do and the game is always about skills, fun and friendly competition. Such was the quality of the game, for much of it, Fitzroy coach Ben and I, simply stood together and enjoyed the great game before us, complementing each other on the skills of our respective players and jointly applauding our teams efforts. As such, I rate this as one of our most enjoyable games.
In a very evenly matched game the Bullants wanted it more.... It was after all... Our ground and our ball!
As always, proudest coach & Dad.
|Best Players||Rylan, Samuel, Will, Asher, Tom M, Ayden, Lucas|
Round 9, We returned to Zwar Park for first time since our last win in Rd 6. But it was Fitzroy who burst out of the blocks kicking 2 Goals in the opening 2 mins. A quick reply by Ayden who slotted through a brilliant Banana Goal and then followed up with another classy solo effort but this time his kick fell just short of the Goal-line which would've levelled up the contest.
Second quarter sees Tom Maddison come up from the U9’s to help us out, showing his wonderful skills and played 3 great quarters, well done Tom! Second quarter also seen Lucas come off the bench after not feeling so good went straight into the back line, stopping a lot of Fitzroy's goals, great effort Lucas.
From this point on it was Fitzroy who took the game away from us, as our side seemed to lose a little confidence whilst making several basic skill errors in the slippery conditions.
|Preston Bullants||Banyule M|
|Goal Kickers||1 A.Nestorovski , 1 J.Talarico|
Congratulations to Xavier Giuliano and Jet Talarico on celebrating their 50 game milestone.
Round 9 saw us head into a game against Doncaster, a team that we are quite evenly matched up. We knew we’d be heading into a tough game with lots of pressure being applied from a team keen to come out with a victory against us, because the Bullants have won the last three games.
The first quarter set the scene for the game and it was a hard slog for both sides. Doncaster came out hard; to our credit we thought the boys worked well and hard. We saw some great running by Toby and Max D who seemed to be all over the ball in the last half of the quarter. Jordan and Samuel worked hard and we could see they were switched on their participation, dedication and strength was very evident for the entire game. It was a more positive start to the game in comparison to previous games where we have been very slow off the mark. The first quarter ended with both clubs on zero.
We entered the second quarter focused on scoring and leaving Doncaster on zero. Doncaster however came out with the same intention and they were able to push the ball into their forward line to score very early in the quarter. We were unfortunately unable to respond and we were unable to score this quarter, however our boys still did well by holding Doncaster to 1 goal 2 points. What didn’t work for us as a team is the Bullants didn’t move the ball quickly enough and we didn’t get into the right positions to help team mates when we had possession of the ball.
At half time we asked our back line to hold their line and not move too far forward, our midfield needed to run the whole quarter and the forward line needed to make better positions so we could deliver the ball to them. Once again, communication was the key for the Bullants to try and kickstart our score.
So with these messages sinking in, the boys ran out onto the paddock with a clear direction and new fire burning in the belly. We saw both sides slogging it out trying to get the ball down to their own forward lines and half way through the quarter we had our first result, through strong backing up by Phoenix so Alex could kick our first goal. This quarter saw some great running from Henry, Jordan, Oliver, Toby and in particular Jack M for his long, hard running across the ground which stopped multiple play ons from Doncaster. We saw much better pressure placed on Doncaster and ball this quarter.
The last quarter we asked the boys to get to the ball first, move it quickly and get the talking going between one another (communication is the key). Doncaster got the ball down to their forward line quickly in this last quarter to score the first goal. Toby and Samuel started moving well with the ball this quarter, however we once again saw the old technique of tapping the ball up slowly rather than moving quickly. To our boys credit though, it was an even quarter between both teams and we saw glimpses of how we want the boys to play. There really wasn’t much difference between both Doncaster and the Bullants today, however Doncaster did move the ball a lot better than we did and most significantly, they wanted the ball more than us.
There was a lot to take away from this game and even though it was a loss there are always some positives. We saw the group starting to find that fire again and demonstrate a stronger work ethic across four quarters, rather than one or two. We know it’s sometimes challenging for some kids to play confidently in positions that are not necessarily their favourite or their strongest, however that’s part of developing a child’s game. Learning to play different positions is important in Under 12s and junior footy in general.
The next step is to build on playing four full quarters of footy - encouraging the boys to use their voice, trust each other, support each other, break a sweat, and run, run, run! We’re playing in a fairly even division this season, so each game requires dedication from every member of the group.
Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian
|Preston Bullants||Bulleen Templestowe|
|Goals||Cheesy -3, Frank, Josh & Ethan -1|
|Best Players||Back 6|
The Bullants have survived a fierce battle from a spirited Bulleen Templestowe to consolidate 2nd position on the ladder, battling to an 8-point win at Bulleen Park on Sunday morning.
In a performance befitting of a bigger crowd than 62, the bottom-placed Bulleen Templestowe led by 2 points at three quarter-time - an effort that prompted a standing ovation from the Bulleen Templestowe faithful - and were still within two points late in the last quarter, before the Bullants ground out a hard fought win, 6.11 (47) to 6.3 (39).
Halfbacks Allister and Jamie were prolific ball winners for the victors. Their attack on the ball was mouth-watering as both boys set up the drive from the back line all day.
Zac and Frank provided great support on the wing with plenty of clean disposals. The back 6 provided great rebound from defence while the rucks had clean hands and marked well all day.
The forwards also created opportunities with their ball movement and great forward pressure.
"I think it was a four-quarter effort, really good intensity, our hit around the ball was strong and our possession game was really strong - all stuff we’d been working on over past few week," Vaiano said post-match.
"There's plenty of improvement to come, but certainly our trademark effort, intensity, and resilience under some adversity at times was pleasing."
"To have a week off and freshen up and then to be able to bounce back after that (loss to Kew Comets) and be able to play the sort of football we want to play is great.”
"So where we go from here, and where we go in the second half of the year, we can control that now.”
The Bullants face another huge test against the Whitehorse Colts next week at Springfield Park West. A team that is biting at their heels for a top 2 spot.
|Beverley Hill N||Preston Bullants|
|Goal Kickers||Jesse -5, Leo -2, Carbel, Alex, James, Ben M -1Ben M -1|
This was a good win. There was so much to like and admire. Consider the following:
This game was played at the Lions home ground in East Doncaster. A spectacular setting, sitting atop the Doncaster hills, Monterey Cypress positioned as sentinels on the northern perimeter of Zerbes Reserve. The ground itself was less impressive. The centre area was literally a glue heap of mud. Presumably to protect what would be a turf wicket come summer; for footy it meant that play had to go around the wings or suffer the discomfiture of trudging through molasses like mud.
The Bullants would not be stopped. Not by mud, not by Lions, not by anything. The Lions scored the first goal, from a terrific mark after 6 mins of play, even though the Bullants seemed to have the run. The Lions would only kick two more goals for the game.
What was noticeable even early on was how much team work was going on. And effective handpassing. Finn had a terrific quarter. Charbel snapped a goal. Down back, Max, as usual was working overtime. Then came one of the plays of the season. Alex’s soccered goal was the end point of a series of handpasses on the forward flank, to set up an attack. The ball went forward, Ted took a strong mark. The ball went forward again, Finn applied a strong tackle. Alex, who is everywhere, popped up and sealed the deal.
The next noticeable positive was controlled team play. On one occasion the ball went cleanly from Darc to Daniel to Jackson to Finn to Jesse who very coolly, goaled. These controlled plays would be a modus operandi for the Bullants win. In fact, during the second quarter, when the teamwork didn’t gel we didn’t goal. We got it down there but didn’t convert. However, this is when we got to see the best of our backline. Whether it was Alex surging out of defence or James applying the tackle of the day or Chilli and Ben D applying the ‘No Surrender’ rule or Anthony coming out of every pack, ball in hand and Jesse’s late tackle after sprinting down the ground.
At half time it was a ten point game. After half time, the Bullants got their teamwork back on track and took the game into their hands. Darc was sensational, Alex’s brilliant (and under-rated) rucking gave us first use of the ball. Max’s work in the backline and midfield was as usual, top-notch, Rhett did not stop, Jakeb stamped himself on the game, Jack found space and man can he move fast, Daniel, maintained his pivot role, working with Darc and Ben D, taking the ball from backline to forward attack, Leo, the indomitable forward line general, kept communications clear and strict with his troops, Ben M just muscled his way into packs and out of trouble, Suhail, steady as she goes backman, Maivia, the backline general, can count this as another win for the backline and James, one of our outside runners found plenty of space. His goal in the Last was reward for his commitment.
Jesse finished with five goals and was tireless as usual. It was a smart move to place him deep in the forward area and it paid off. And it would be remiss of me not to highlight Jackson (yes, he’s my son). With 5 goal assists from dashing down the wing and flanks, he played a cracker. His game was emblematic of the Bullants win and the 5 significant improvements listed above.
|Preston Bullants||Ivanhoe B|
Last Sunday saw our Under 15 boys earn quite a comfortable win despite the competitive character of our Brunswick opponents, and some sloppy passages on our behalf. As always, and a hallmark of the Under 15 team, endeavour and attitude were never in question and a willingness to share the ball with teammates was prevalent throughout the game.
Whilst the result was never in doubt from just before the half time break, our inaccurate kicking both for goal and to teammates in a better position, was keeping Brunswick in the game. Xavier Chamoun playing his first game for the year in the backline, was proving a real general and along with the usual suspects Matty, EJ and William, the backs were countering any Brunswick attacks and keeping their score to a minimum. Up forward, Jackson V was getting his hands on the ball regularly, and was using his strength to bring the ball to the ground to the advantage of teammates. The most impressive player on the day, was our new recruit Brodie, who played his best game for the year, showing courage backing into packs, throwing himself at the ball and providing a great contest with his second and third efforts.
In the end, the boys earned a fairly comfortable victory against an opponent who never gave in. In the coming weeks the boys will need to improve their decision making and general kicking against some stronger opponents, if they are to keep up their winning ways.
Thanks, Mark and Damian
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