While it’s only Round 2, the competition is heating up, with sides on both ends of the spectrum- some comfortable with where they sit, others looking to make some changes. The Friars have proven yet again that they mean business in 2019, with Brunswick and Bulleen following in their footsteps with other exciting wins. The Rangers again showed poise when it was needed most, but there are other teams who may need to urgently take the week’s rest and go back to the drawing board.
Let’s see how Round 2 went down…
Ivanhoe vs Bulleen Templestowe
Bulleen Templestowe have added another win to the board as they ran home 36 point winners against Ivanhoe’s hard-fighting team. Coming from behind after quarter time, the Bullants fitness allowed them to overrun the Hoers and do some damage for the remaining three quarters of play. The Hoers had a strong start, booting five goals to two and taking a 17-point lead into quarter time. However, after a quick regroup, the Bullants added five majors and halted the run-on that Ivanhoe were utilising in the first term.
After half-time the Bullants defenders locked down their back half and stopped the run on from the Hoers, allowing them only one goal in the third term. While they had a strong fightback in the final quarter booting four majors, the Hoers could not shut down the fast-paced midfield of the Bullants, fumbling at the last hurdle and allowing them to boot seven majors to snatch victory.
Lachie Roberts had four goals for Ivanhoe and earned the votes for BOG for his side, supported by Dan Jones who kicked one major.
Jack Cowell’s six majors, supported by Kristian Cherbakof’s five for Bulleen led their side’s victory in front of goal. Across the ground, Rob Edsall and Leith Wallis were instrumental in the Bullants’ exciting victory.
MHSOB vs Brunswick
Eight spectacular goals from Francis Evans and five more from Dom Sullivan have helped their Brunswick boys to a 99-point victory over a shaky Melbourne High side who are yet to get a win on the board in 2019. With a spread of nine goal kickers, The Brunswick boys were hard to stop from all angles of goal, with the Unicorns struggling to halt the onslaught that occurred in the second half. While the Unicorns did not lead during the game, their first half efforts, spearheaded by Louis Phillips (1 goal) and Scott Braithwaite (2 goals) saw them trailing by only 23 points at the main break.
However, after a regroup, the Wickers came out all guns blazing to show their hard-work of preseason paying off across the ground. They then went on to not only hold the Unicorns to one major, but also pile on 13 spectacular goals to boost their percentage and give the Wickers their first win of the 2019 season.
The shining lights for the Unicorns were Ashan Wijayakumara with three goals and Kane Smith who pushed hard all day around the footy.
For Brunswick, Ben Wilson (1 goal) and James Morverley were crucial around the ground in assisting their forwards in booting 24 goals for the day.
Whitefriars vs Power House
Whitefriars have shown not only the Power House boys, but the whole Division, that they are again a serious threat in 2019. Storming home 183 point victors and annihilating the House, the Friars dominated from the first bounce, piling on 34 goals to Power House’s six majors. The Friars had a handy spread of 14 goal kickers who flexed their muscles all day, with eight of those players all kicking multiple goals each.
The Friars used their wide oval to their advantage, allowing their men to spread quickly to create accurate openings on the run. Their intensity and slick ball movement was too quick for the House, who seemed to get caught up in the numbers around the footy.
From the get-go, the Friars structure was on point and, led by Gus Hands’ 6 goal haul and Sam Kieseker’s 5 goals, the forward line made the House pay on the score board.
It was a marvel as the Friars midfield kept their foot on the gas for four quarters, booting 10 goals in the second term, another 10 in the third and eight to finish off cleanly. Another four-goal performance also keeps super-boot Michael Nitas in the running for Leading Goal-Kicker. For the disappointed boys from the House, Kane Goodwin (3 goals) was the shining light, supported by the contested efforts from Brett Scotland. They’ll need to wipe the slate clean and use this loss as motivation to contend in Round 3 and beyond.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Glen Eira
The Bushrangers have come home strong as they held off an exciting Glen Eira team by 29 points in front of their home crowd at Doncaster Reserve. The game began as a close battle, with the Bushrangers booting only three goals from their eight scoring shots in the first quarter, allowing the Glen Eira boys to stay in close contention. The Glen Eira defenders did just that and pushed hard, working their way back into the game and trailing by only five points at the main break. However, in true Bushranger fashion, the Doncaster boys settled after half time and not only held Glen Eira to one major, but also piled on seven goals themselves. It was a gap that seemed almost too difficult to bridge, but Glen Eira’s Lachie Pound’s three majors kept his side in contention until the Bushrangers added two goals to seal victory. Yarra looked extremely poised overall, with the trusted super-recruit Luke Barker kicking another five majors to add to his tally in 2019. Cody Johnson and Bailey Jonson (2 goals) were also instrumental in their sides win. This is a team game and the Yarra boys seems to have their combined efforts down pat for the rest of the season.
At the other end, Julius Waras Carstensen booted four majors for Glen Eira, while Connor Hustwaite led excitingly across the ground. The boys from Glen Eira should be proud of their efforts for their first game of the season, but will be hungry to capitalise on their opportunities and prove that they are worthy of everyone’s respect, come Round 3.
Round 3 PREVIEWS:
Brunswick vs Power House
It will be a perfect chance for the House to bounce back and reinvent their brand of footy to compete against the up-and-about Brunswick boys.
But, after their big Round 2 win, the Wickers may just have all the right answers to shut down the House boys in front of goal, just as Whitefriars did in Round 2. The Wickers ability to rejuvenate and run out as a fresh, fast paced side each quarter hold them in good stead to dominate around the ball and contest hard against the struggling Power House midfield. The House have been exposed for their lack of fitness in the opening rounds, failing to string together four quarters of solid team football. Thus, the Wickers have a chance to force the House to contest and play zone footy for a prolonged period to tire out their young bodies. However, if the House can use their break to focus on the fitness and fundamentals of a team game, they may just be able to counteract the onslaught of goals and create a close battle on field.
Bulleen Templestowe vs Yarra Old Grammarians
Both teams remain undefeated for 2019 and both are looking for a chance to play finals. The trusted Yarra Old Grammarians will be looking to heir forward line to produce even more magic, particularly Luke Baker who has been a vital pick up and rejuvenation up front. The excitement and buzz is evident for the Bushrangers and if their 2012 Premiership Coaches bring the same enthusiasm and unbeaten, fast movement game style, they will surely outrun the Bullants for four quarters.
The free-flowing and fast-moving ball game that the Bushrangers play is hard to stop, but Bulleen are known to produce more physical, man-on-man football that may see a few key Bushrangers taken out of the picture. The main aim of the Bullants is to find ways to hold up and congest the open forward-line that Yarra dominate.
However, Yarra may have some issues on their hand if they wish to stop the ever-trusted Kristian Cherbakof in front of goals and the quick moving David Dakin who will be leading the small Bullants midfield.
Glen Eira vs Whitefriars
Although Glen Eira contested hard against the Bushrangers in Round 2, it’s hard to see Whitefriars dropping off anytime soon. The ability to move the ball seamlessly from the midfield into the Friars multi-facetted forward-line is something that teams have struggled to counter act over the past year in Division 2. Glen Eira however, have proven that they can push a decent side in Yarra Old Grammarians to their limits, meaning they have the ability to replicate a lower scoring game and play more contested football. Glen Eira need to be able to halt the free-flow that the Friars are well-known for, which may mean they need to match and better their midfield in strength and pace around each contest. The Whitefriars boys, although more comfortable on their home ground, should adapt well to Glen Eira’s smaller field and utilise their immaculate sets ups and structures around each contest to boot massive bags of goals again. This game may see the Friars as favourites, however do not be surprised if the boys from glen Eira pay a hard, physical game of footy, giving the Friars a run for their money.
Hawthorn vs MHSOB
The Hawks will be eager to get back on track after having a two-week break due to byes. MHSOB on the other hand will need to prove their worth in Division 2, after a rough opening couple of rounds. These sides will be meeting for the first time in a couple of years but should match up well across the ground. The Unicorns seem to be struggling to not only produce a high number of scoring opportunities for themselves, but also struggle to stop their opposition from taking complete control and out run them when the second half comes around.
The Hawks, who went down to Yarra Old Grammarians in Round one, proved to an extent that they can match one of the better sides of the competition for three strong quarters. However, the key to success in Division 2 is prolonged periods of dominance mixed with scoreboard pressure for four quarters. Hawthorn has been up and down between Division 2 and 3 over the past few years, so if they want to prove their worth and be competitive, they must apply scoreboard pressure and capitalise whenever the ball is in their possession. There’s no room for wasted opportunities anymore.