Despite the federal election being 4 weeks away the cold shoulder and heat of the scrutinising eye of the President who allegedly was offering soothing words of encouragement to the coach there loomed those dreaded words “the coach has the full support of the board” hanging in the breeze.
Like a lot of our early season games the 23’s won enough of the contested ball from centre square and around the ground stoppages, but the extensive pre-season that of surf, sun, covid and saving for overseas trips was again proving less than beneficial in taking advantage of the stoppage work of the mids.
Despite being only Rd 3 the club has been devastated with a raft of injuries and with the need to fill the seniors and reserves it is the 23’s which are impacted not just with quality, but quantity, and this hindered our game against Old Scotch where injuries, lack of rotations and any empathy from our opponents was most notable. We did ask for understanding, it was briefly considered and ignored and it is to the credit of the players that they stuck at was a very difficult task with terrific spirit and grit.
With only 16 after ½ half time we actually were able to match our opponents in the middle, certainly had enough of the ball going forward, but with 2 less players we just couldn’t hold the ball in or convert potential scoring opportunities.
Given the sheer weight of ball coming in the efforts of our backs was terrific and Riley Watson was outstanding taking and accounting for a much bigger opponent repeatedly and well supported down back by “Georgeous” George Vasili and Travis Shannon, Ruben Beeby and in what was his best game for the club in 3 years Zac Huggins who went forward when suffering from cramp and kicked a couple of goals. .
In addition, the dancing feet of Jerry Xue and Matt Courtney along with our mids led by Adam “The Accumulator” Martuccio, Harry “the Chief” Gustin, James McCormack and Big Mike Canny were terrific contributors.
To the players – they are a resilient lot and their attitude has been terrific and I have nothing but praise for them and I am sure that better results will come with more numbers once the club-wide injury blight recedes.
Many thanks for our support – Chris Kelliher as timekeeper, Chris Huggins our runner, Liam O’Donnell for waving the flags, Lizzie Brennan our trainer and the Prez Matt O’Callaghan for being there – he told me he came to move the magnets but when there’s no bench that role was made positively redundant, but he did say the salad roll was okay and the coffee marginal.
Result: De La 5.7.37 lost to Old Scotch 15.15.105
Best: Riley Watson, Zac Huggins, George Vasili, Matt Courtney, Jerry Xue, Ruben Beeby, James McCormack, Harry Gustin, Adam Martuccio