Scores: Redbacks (Vampires) 4.3-27 def Murrumbeena 1.11-17

On Sunday, 28 April, U11 Redbacks played Murrumbeena at Widdop Crescent to open the season. After a long summer all the boys were keen to get onto ground and start the game.

This season the Redbacks will be guided by 4 key points.
1. We play as a Team and look after each other – no selfish play.
2. Everyone can be a leader on the ground and use their voice.
3. We have to move the ball quickly.
4. Everyone is accountable for an opponent – forwards, backs and mids.

So, with Hank (our 2018 B&F) on with sidelines with an injury, the boys knew they would have to step things up. However, from the first bounce we were under pressure. Murrumbeena got the ball into their forward line where it stayed for about 75% of the quarter. But, with a spare man sweeping in defence and our onballers running back to create congestion, our backs including Spencer, Sam W and Hayden stood up well and forced the opposition to waste their shots at goal. In the last part of the quarter our onballers including Will C, Connor and Declan took control helping us to pump the ball into our open forward line.

The message at quarter time was that we had gained our rhythm at the end of the first quarter and we had stick to our game plan for the rest of the match.

As the second quarter progressed we could see that our onballers would have to run hard and be accountable for their direct opponents if we were win the game. Palts was swung into the ruck while Chucky and Sam R started to assert their authority. While the game was generally even between the 2 teams our open forward line with our dual CHF set-up with Mali and Will S was working well. This also allowed other forwards including Nate and Max F to make an impact.

The second half was a tussle between the teams. Caelan was holding up the backline at CHB, while Luke was playing a kick behind play and repelling Murrumbeena’s forward thrusts. Our backmen including Matty and Liam were placing huge pressure on opposition forwards who continued to kick inaccurately as a result. Max M was getting a lot of the ball and setting up passages of play out of defence while Hugo played a strong consistent brand of football all day.

In the last quarter the Redbacks held a narrow lead which the boys defended with all their might. As an onballer Will H was everywhere and on several occasions drifted down to the last line of defence to break up a Murrumbeena attack. By the final siren we had held on to a 10 point margin for a great first round win. Scores: Redbacks (Vampires) 4.3-27 def Murrumbeena 1.11-17.

What did we learn from the game on Sunday?

3 Things We Can Improve:
1. The boys need to work on kick-ins. Long and wide rather short and across goal.
2. The boys are getting used to the new rules, but will need to learn to shepherd and use their bodies effectively.
3. The boys have to play on instinct. Sometimes we are still too slow to react when we have the ball.

3 Things We Did Really Well:
1. Very pleasing to see the amount of running from every boy in the team. A huge improvement from last year.
2. Good use of handball that hits a team mate in a better position.
3. Great respect for the SMJFL umpires with no backchat from our boys.

Best Players:

Goal Scorers: