Rovers fourths underdogs against unbeaten Bloods

September 08, 2017

(Back, from left) Shane Blake (ass. coach), Anthony Joss (runner), Haydn Mowat, Simon Stubbings (manager), Thomas Chandler, Bobby Hall, Tom Blake, Will Martin, Alister Butcher, Brock Redden, Hayden Gardiner, Maisy Edwards, Shane Woodcock (manager), Jai Ezard, Nathan Kelvy, Brian Murphy (trainer), Peter Wills (coach); (middle) Jackson Muldoon-Leetham, Nick Stubbings, Pat Westcott, Jace Collins, Raymond Murphy, Kaiden Joss, Jack Woodcock, Connor Didcock, Jay McCully, Brandon Armstrong, Will Ferguson, Lachie Hillier; (front) Bailey Caruso, Liam East, Cameron Wills, Jordan Stafford, Brody Wills, Connor Buckley, Tyler Marchant and Eddie Dudley.

Deni Rovers’ fourths will head into tomorrow’s Picola League grand final against Tocumwal as underdogs, and that’s fine with coach Peter Wills.

The young Bloods have been untouchable this season, making it to tomorrow’s decider undefeated this year.

The two sides met in the semi final with Tocumwal dominant in a 52-point win.

Wills said due to their opponent’s impressive season, the pressure will be on the Bloods to take out the premiership.

‘‘In our games against Strathy we were expected to win and the pressure was on us,’’ he said.

‘‘We managed to win those games comfortably in the end, but we didn’t have it all our own way.

‘‘Each time we’ve played Tocumwal we’ve scored more every time and had more scoring opportunities.

‘‘If we can score well early then you never know what might happen.

‘‘It’s just been one bad quarter that seems to cost us every time we face Toc.

‘‘They find another gear and their bigger kids just control the game.’’

The key battle of the day will see Rovers onballer Raymond Murphy go head to head with league best and fairest Tom Barker.

Another crucial battle will see Haydn Mowat take on league leading goalkicker Baylee Morton.

‘‘Haydn has played pretty well on Baylee in the past,’’ Wills said.

‘‘I think our onballers in Raymond Murphy and Brandon Armstrong both match up well with Tom Barker, but it’s been Tocumwal’s bigger bodies that seem to get on top of us.

‘‘Zander Griffin is the hardest match-up for us. He’s a tall ruckman who sets himself up behind the ball to build a bit of a wall.

‘‘If we are to win our ball use has to be spot on and we need to put scoreboard pressure on them.

‘‘We’ll need to try and keep our forward 50 quite open and use our foot skills to work the ball past that defensive wall. We did it last time we played them with two quick goals so if we keep our momentum up, we could be in a winning position.

‘‘Regardless of the result on Saturday (tomorrow), I’m still very proud of the side for making it to the grand final.’’

Wills also said the future for the fourths looks bright, with most of his players still having another year in the U-14 grade.

‘‘We don’t have many top age players in the side,’’ he said.

‘‘It would be nice to upset Toc but if we don’t come away with the win there’s always next year.’’

The grand final will start at 9.20am at Blighty Recreation Reserve.

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