After scaling unreasonably high literary peaks with the Round 1 and 2 Metro reports it is a return to the mundane with Round 3. Alas, the football was to be anything but, and with the series tied it was winner take all. After the heavy conditions of round 1, and the atrocious conditions of round 2, the glorious conditions for the round 3 finale were a welcome sight for players and fans alike.
The game kicked off with the Mashmellows adopting a slightly defensive setup with extra players behind the ball, and a paddock for Sam D to work into from full forward. With a crowded midfield it was tough stuff in the middle as both teams struggled to find space. With Blue looking dangerous on the counter-attack and Sam D presenting well up forward they managed to keep it close. But it was CDG's reds slightly on top at the first change as their hard working mids were ultimately able to provide a little more opportunity to Tom D and Ricko who were looking dangerous up forward.
The second quarter began with a crunch as Phil was unlucky to be the man stuck at Center Half Forward as the midfield scrum converged on his jaw! This seemed to set the tone for Red who were able to bullock there way forward throughout the quarter with CDG, Talis, Matt S, and Perham beginning to take over the middle of the ground. With the Blues reverting to a more traditional setup, the Red forward line seemed to open up, and despite the strong defensive pressure of Fielder and Josh Morris, weight of opportunity would prevail as Red skipped away to a handy break at the half.
The second half picked up where the first ended as Red seemed to have slightly more of the play. Blue was hanging tough, and was able to test the robust red defense of Scott, Art, Sean, and Tobin through the tireless efforts of Jesse, Mash, Cam, Zach, and Brendan who worked hard to create opportunities on the counter. Red though, was never quite able to put the match beyond reach.
At the final change a few reds became blue, a few blues became red, and the coach saw purple. Football was the winner, and the Blues looked to create a wide open forward line for Ricko, Perham, and Ruggles to work into. It worked, and the blues came home with a wet sail as the forwards found space to work into. CDG's reds though, were ultimately deserving victors, rallying after their loss in week 1, and ultimately managing to get more players on the field.
Mashmellows: Mashmellow, Fielder, Josh D, Ruggles, Jesse
Reds: Scott C., Ricko, Matt S, Tom D, Perham
After another great series it is clear that the Metros continue to be a great way for the club to introduce the game to new players, have people play in a variety of positions, work on match fitness, work on skills, and work on game strategy. It has also been great this series to welcome a few new, but experienced, campaigners to the club in Scott, Steve, Sarge, and Max. As we head into our first games of the season this weekend here are a couple of observations to build off the 3 keys we want to rally around this year, Space, Execution, and Discipline:
- Dangerous space when attacking: we want the dangerous space to be open, we want our forwards to have space to lead into. We haven't always been good at this but during the Metro series we stressed the importance of forwards continually making leads and saw some great progress there. The half forward position is a lot of running, and these guys should be looking to receive the ball from the backline which often means pushing into the defensive side of the ground.
- Dangerous space when defending: we want the dangerous space to be blocked, we want midfielders and wings to push back to take away space for opponents. During the Metro series we saw how hard it is for the defense when guarding a player who has space to lead into. We defend as a team, and this means the dangerous space might not be next to your opponent.
- We saw some really great progress with our handball use in crowded situations during the Metro series. The goal here is for one midfielder 'an in and under type' to feed the ball out of a pack/scrum via a handball or a knock to an open player standing in space who is able to sprint away. We did a great job of using the handball to create space all across the ground during the Metro.
- We continue to see players rushing. It is very exciting when you get the ball in a game, and you often have a little more time to enjoy it than you think! This can be as simple as taking a few extra steps backwards to make sure you kick over the man on the mark, taking a quick look sideways to see if a teammate is wide open, or handballing backwards rather than rushing a kick over your shoulder.
- From the metro series we are really beginning to look like a disciplined team in the way that we setup players around the ground, the way players move around the ground, and the where players should look to kick or handball. A couple of good examples of things that are not always easy to do; setting up the wall to lock a ball in the forward line, and defensive running to block the dangerous space for the opposition.