Injuries and player unavailability has been costly for the club this year and especially so the weekend just past, when an undermanned reserves side took on the undefeated Kingborough Tigers.
We eventually scrapped a side together with the help of four Colts players in Jordan Mccallum, Jai Bannister, Luke Alsford and Kieren Isles who doubled up to ensure a full squad hit the field.
The side played good football for the first half as we applied as much pressure to our opponents as we could, but their better skills and speed eventually wore us down and being a well drilled side kicked away from us in the second half. To our credit we battled hard all day and we could walk off the ground knowing that at least the group that took to the field where out their playing for each other.
Our back line was terrific all day considering the amount of football that was in their area. Mick Grimsey played the majority of the game injured; Daniel Donavan continued to spoil his taller opponent and Wally Dare, Mick Hemming and Adrian Pennicott repelled as best they could.
Andrew Kennedy is starting to find some good form and set the scene early with some courageous football. Chris Russell toiled all day in the ruck. Jordan Watson played well above his years, as he was on the bottom of many packs and got plenty of possessions.
Some positives to come from the day were that we won the last quarter and the young players that played showed that they are well capable of playing in this grade and above.
This weekend we need to bounce back when we take on the Central Hawks at home, who are breathing down our necks on the ladder.
Round 14 saw the Two Blues take on the Dodges Ferry Sharks on our home turf of Anzac.
The reserves side went into the game bolstered by some handy inclusions from the side that went down to New Norfolk but, we were still aware of the fact that the Sharks were playing some good football and building momentum from their slow start to the season.
We started the game the way that we intended with intensity and lots of run. Our skills were good and we gave our forwards plenty of football. At the first break we held a 21 points lead and got the start we wanted.
This soon came crashing down and when the pressure was put back onto us we started to become undisciplined and unfocused which in turn gave our opponents too many easy goals.
In the second half our attitude, our work rate and our decision making all improved and we bounced back to play some very good football including a last quarter in which we kicked nine goals and kept the Sharks scoreless.
Mick 'Micka' Hemming, Mitch 'Lil' Leale and Mick 'Lofty' Grimsey were solid in defense all game. Our midfielders in Phil 'Philphy' Ashlin and Jeremey 'Jez' Pfeiffer knocked up getting possessions and Dave 'Country' Smith up forward held everything that came his way.
We still have a lot of improvement in us as a team and we need to play four quarters of good football and eliminate the bad quarter that we so often play. This week we play the ladder leaders in Kingborough, and we will need a four quarter effort to knock the Tigers off.
With the season about a third of the way through, I thought I would do an update on how our season has been progressing.
We find ourselves in third spot on the ladder with five wins and two losses. The two losses that we have suffered came from Claremont and Kingborough, the two teams above us on the ladder.
The club has once again found its self in a good position with good numbers and the reserves (due to club injuries & unavailability) have already had a total of 43 players play one game or more this season. A special mention should go to the underage players in Ian "Red" Mackenzie, Jordan "Jordy" McCullum and Kieran "Kizza" Isles who when given the chance to play reserves stepped up and showed they are more than capable.
As a reserves coach it is always good to see players step up to senior level and play. This season up to 12 players have already played in both senior grades.
The great turn around in players has not helped the reserves side due to the fact that we can have up to six changes in the team per week, but to our credit we have soldiered on and kept winning games.
Our success so far this year has been contributed greatly by the players that are consistently doing the right things by turning up to training and giving 100%. Down back Wally "JT" Dare has provided the attack and run while the leadership of Ricky "BattMan" Batt and Adrian "AJ" Pennicott has given us the platform to attack off The "Michele" Pfeiffer brothers (Henry & Jeremy), through the middle have given us some extra class and polish. The hard work down back and through the middle has been capped off by Dave "Country" Smith up forward who has been a focal point for us.
I’m sure we are all looking forward to the rest of the season with some big challenges in front of us.
This week the reserves took on Kingborough on our home turf at Anzac Park.
We went into the game knowing that Kingborough were going to be a challenge and that a win would set up our season and give us a chance to get back into at least the top two on the ladder.
Disappointingly we were outplayed for the first half of the game and even though we fought the game out we played to inconsistent to challenge a top team and eventually lost by five goals.
As a team we went into the game coming off the bye and three good wins expecting things to just happen. All the good things we had been doing in the past had gone. Our run and our attack on the football was poor. At least this gives us an idea on were improvement is needed.
Our back line was under attack all day and the score would have been worse if it wasn’t for the efforts of Chris 'CT' Turner and Ricky Batt. David 'Country' Smith up forward gave as an option and didn’t miss his opportunities as did Stuart 'Stu-Fu' Dare. In the middle Paul 'Smokey' Jackson gave us first use of the ball but we could not capitalize apart from the clearance work of Paul 'PJ' Johnston. Around the ground there was not much to be happy about as we were outnumbered at many of the contests and stoppages but Chris 'Rusty' Russell and Jeremy Pfeiffer battled hard all day.
This weekend we take on Central Hawks at Oatlands and we should expect a hard challenge. If we want to give ourselves a chance of winning a big improvement is needed from last week effort.