Early wins is good form


In the world of the VAFA early wins are money in the bank given its game on at both ends of the ladder.  For the seniors whilst we sit equal top after 5 rounds the bonus is that we continue to distance ourselves from the bottom end of the ladder, the drop zone!  We are sitting 2nd on the McClelland ladder that awards points for the wins by all of the teams that each club fields, it’s been a long time since we have been 2nd on that ladder after five rounds into the season.  Despite our excellent win loss ratio (15 from 20) our seniors have some big tests looming with Caulfield Grammarians this week followed by SKOBs, Old Haileybury then AJAX before the return games start.


Last week was a real test for all of our teams for varying reasons.  With us all playing at home we did have an advantage but given how well the grounds came up after heavy rain, however  this allowed the visiting teams to enjoy good conditions to demonstrate their skills as well. We have spoken about creating a fortress like environment at Carey Bulleen where the conditions may be good but the game is played on our terms and we exploit the fast open spaces of Dunshea and Gramlick ovals and run teams off their legs.


The seniors had a hard fought win over Old Ivanhoe; it was a game of contrast with both teams having ascendancy at various stages.  Our fitness and run in the end got us over the line with Cam Howat leading magnificently.   The 2nds had a real chance of pinching the win, after a great last quarter they fell short by 3 points, there are lessons still to be learnt by the players, they are keen to learn and are having a much better season so far that 2013.  The 3rds were up against AJAX again on Sunday at Bulleen in perfect conditions; bolstered by Dolly and Nick Thompson the Panther Brigade got the better of AJAX in a fast flowing game.  The Unders winners again!  Comprehensively beating Northern Blues.  This game was marred by the terrible injury to Chis Hill, Chris broke his leg very badly and required an ambulance, Chris remains in hospital and has had 4 operations to his broken leg.  His team mates have been in to see him this week.  We wish Chris a hasty recovery and look forward to seeing him up and about soon.


This week we are all away again with the seniors and 2nds taking on Caulfield in must win games, we played them in the pre-season and they were impressive, young and quick so we will need to play a 4 quarter game, something we haven’t been able to sustained so far this season.  The 2nds game should be interesting too; we have Happy Laidlaw up forward (get some touch after a soft tissue injury) and James Courtot in for his 2nd game after two knee reco’s.   The 3rds take on SKOB’s in what will be a tough encounter; SKOB’s have great depth so their 3rds will be slick.  Unders are on a massive road trip, playing to four compatriot Old Ivanhoe out at their Mernda complex.


Fingers crossed we can continue our excellent start but we will need you with us again this week, so get up early tomorrow get the shopping down then get on the road to watch the boys.





Paul Newton







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