Development Squad Report
By Tom Anderson
A good start by both teams turned into the perfect start for Sandringham with Nathan Smith kicking the first set shot. The first goal was pivotal to the momentum of the game with the conditions playing a big part in the first quarter in particular. Both teams began the game being fierce around the contest with a lot of stoppages the result. The scores were quickly evened up when Casey kicked their first from the boundary. With the first quarter being very even, Sandringham were able to maintain their pressure and kick their second and Smith’s second after causing a Casey turnover. The pressure around the ball along with the tackling pressure had Sandringham on top and were worrying Casey out of playing their natural game. In credit to Casey, whilst they were not at their best, they were able to kick three goals against the wind to lead us at quarter time. A late Cathcart goal and Sandringham’s third for the game brought back the deficit to only one point at the first break.
Just like the first quarter, Sandringham came out on top. In winning the stoppages, they were not able to hit the scoreboard though. After the first five minutes of Sandringham being on top, Casey were able to control the rest of the quarter and hit the scoreboard as well. This was only compounded by the fact that Sandringham went through the quarter scoreless. As Casey began to dominate the quarter, Sandringham went the other direction, losing faith in their structures and their natural game. One positive of the quarter was that with all Casey’s dominant play, they were only able to kick four goals for the quarter.
A big second half was needed from Sandringham to have a chance of winning this game. With Sandringham wanting to win the stoppages and push the ball forward and Casey wanting to play a run and carry type game, one game style was going to win out. Unfortunately for Sandringham Casey were able to even out the stoppages and then also play their own game style as well. Casey kicked the first goal of the quarter to make it five unanswered goals since quarter time. In a highlight for the quarter and to answer the previous goal, Tom Laumets weaved some magic in the pocket to then hit up Nathan Smith in the goal square for him to kick his third for the game and Sandringham’s fourth. In what was a theme for the game, Casey were able to answer quickly through their uncontested ball movement. For the rest of the quarter Sandringham were able to kick three goals to two but it was Casey’s ability to kick with the wind and kick seven goals for the game that won them the game.
Whilst the scoreboard said that we were 29 points down going into the final quarter, Sandringham started the final quarter with fantastic tackling pressure. This didn’t correlate into good ball use though which really hurt us not only in the last quarter but also throughout the entirety of the game. Casey were able to feast on our poor ball use and kick goals from our turnovers whilst our last kick going inside 50 was terrible too. Casey’s gut running and good ball use in the last quarter cut us up as they were able to outscore us again with a four goal to one final term.
The final margin for the game was 49 points. Nathan Smith was a shining light on the day kicking five goals out of the teams eight whilst Robert Iudica, Matthew Hooy and Luke Verma were Sandringham’s best players through the midfield.
Disposals: Luke Verma, Matthew Hooy 25, Robert Iudica 20
Goal Kickers: Nathan Smith 5, Nick Pavlou, Callum Catchcart, Robert Iudica
Best players: Robert Iudica, Luke Verma, Matthew Hooy, Theo Thompson, Nathan Smith, Lachlan Butler