Round 1: Thunder v Beleura
We came up against Beleura at Beleura. They out ran us on the outside, our set ups were all over the place and our talk and team work was below par. There were definitely some positives to take out of the game, our tackling was fantastic and I couldn't fault our effort. Individually Hayden Perdikomatis , Harvey Logue and Jack Leete were fantastic and Rhett Waterfall tried his guts out at full back. Lots of work to do.
Round 2: Thunder v Red Hill
We came up against Red Hill at the Thunderdome. The players were up and about before the game and our first quarter was fantastic, talk, encouragement and 1%ers. We came in at quarter time in front and the players had a real buzz about them, we slowly dropped away in the remaining 3 quarters, our talk and enthusiasm disappeared and we were over run by a skillful hard running Red Hill outfit.
Definitely some encouraging passages of play where we linked up from back through middle and hit the leading forward. Individually Dieter Pederson through the middle was awesome, Archie Conroys’ run on the wings , Hayden Perdikomatis once again ran and tackled hard and Kane Northcote down back tried hard.
Round 3: Thunder v Hastings
We came up against Hastings at Hastings. I've noticed a real shift in attitude and it really showed on game day.
Our onballers set the tone in the first quarter with 4 of our 5 goals. Jack Gosling in the ruck was unbelievable and Harvey Logue presented super well at chf.
Our handballing in particular was excellent and our willingness to keep the ball moving was exceptional. It was a consistent 4 quarter effort and a great reward for the playing group who have always stuck at it and worked super hard.
We had 19 contributers on the day who earned this win, the stand out was our captain Jack Leete. He lead from the front and won the keep your cool medal, congrats dude.
We sang the song loud and proud.
Round 4: Thunder v Rosebud
We came up against Rosebud at Somers, we focused pre game on starting well and that's exactly what we did, 3 goals to 0 into the wind, once again our onballers set us up, our backline with Lachie .J at full-back was rock solid and our forward line was locking the footy in.
The next 2 quarters were an arm wrestle, we toughed them out really well, our tackle pressure was fantastic, lead by Dieter and Tom L . I asked for a big effort in the last and we ended up snagging 8 for the quarter and really topped off a fantastic team effort.
All 19 players contributed to the win, special mentions to Tom L - he
was super all day, best game I've seen him play by a mile, Harvey L - jagged 5 and gave us a real focal point, Dieter P - pressure/tackle king and lastly Liv, Flynn, Hamish, Lachie .G, Riley, Nat & Zeb have all been training really well and its showing on game day, keep up the good work dudes.
Round 5: Thunder - BYE
Round 6: Thunder v Sorrento
We had the early sesh down at Sorrento. Pre-game we discussed pressure and communicating. The opposition threw a curve ball a minute before we ran out saying they only had 15 players, so we played 15 v 15. They set up better and played a 15 man team game better than us. I coached poorly, went too defensive and I'll definitely learn from that for next time.
We tried hard, 2 goals in it at half time, but in the end we got rolled by 44 points against a team that will play finals and probably finish top 2. Plenty of upside for us, we definitely didn’t play our best footy, coached poorly but the pleasing thing is we didn’t drop our heads and fought the game out to the end.
There we're no real standouts on the day but Jack Leete was Jack Leete. He lead from the front, Tom L, Zav B & Jett.C tried hard and Rory, Jon.L, Zeb and Flynn continue to improve.
We'll learn from this game and continue to improve throughout the season.
Round 7: Thunder v South Mornington
8.30am sesh v last years premiers, South Mornington. Pre game we spoke about moments in games and being ready to take that moment / moments when it's your time to go and also pressure and perceived pressure.
First quarter we came out and really set the tone with our tackle pressure and attack on the footy, we snagged the first one and went in at quarter time a goal up, second quarter against the wind we continued our pressure, held them scoreless and jagged a late one ourselves, 2 up at the half.
Third quarter we pushed hard, whilst also holding them scoreless again, our attack on the footy and the ball carrier for the 3 quarters was fantastic and the best I've seen from these dudes.
Last quarter we knew that Sth Mornington would come home strong and they did, we tired a bit, our pressure through the middle dropped but we didn't stop trying, our back half held strong and we came away with a fantastic 9 point victory.
Everyone took their moment when it came to them. Its a great reward for effort for these dudes.
Best players: 20 soldiers who battled together as a team, special mentions, Jack Gos in the ruck was a ripper all day, Lach. J down back, attack on the footy was 1st class, Dieter. P was super in and around the packs, Zav. B under the packs and the list goes on.
Next game we come up against the undefeated Beleura, massive challenge, but we are gaining in confidence and belief.
Round 8: Thunder v Beleura
We came up against the undefeated Beleura at Somers, a fantastic challenge for the group.
We've been trying different pre game routines to see what works / what doesn't, on Sunday we didn't touch a footy or warm up at all and it showed as Beleura came out and went bang bang bang and had 3 in the first 10 minutes, we settled, snagged one ourselves and went in at quarter time back on track.
In the remaining 3 quarters we really took it up to Beleura, we out marked them, we matched their tackling / pressure and we had our fair share of the footy. The one area that they really outplayed us was with their handball and running game.
We went down by 6 goals but were by no means disgraced, in the past this may have blown out to a 10+ defeat but this group is gaining a real resolve and belief in themselves.
Quit challenge award and best on ground went to a very deserving young man in Flynn Eaton. Flynn did a fantastic job nullifying the oppositions best ball carrier/user in the second half , he always had touch on him and really frustrated him. Harvey .L was a great target for us all day and really tried hard, Lachie.J down back, Archie, Jack.L, Haydos and Zav.B in his 50th.
We are improving every week, we'll continue to work hard and we'll continue to close the gap between us and the top teams.
Round 9: Thunder v Red Hill
We travelled to The Chip v Red Hill. Pre game we spoke about having composure under pressure and 1%ers leading to team goals.
We came out in the first quarter and played the sort of footy we want to play, we pressured forward and back and our mids pushed forward and hit the scoreboard. Harvey and Jack Gos were great focal points up forward. Second quarter we held firm and went in at half time 3 goals up.
The second half we dropped off our intensity a bit. Our backs and mids got caught out too high up the ground and didn’t work back hard enough. The ball came out of our forward line too easily and we got opened up through the middle. We ended up getting rolled by 8 points. We had our chances but plenty of positives, we were in front for 90% of the game but just couldn't close it out. The dudes are really improving, Liv, Hamish, Zeb, Jon.L, Elwood and Lach.G are all gaining in confidence and we are all working hard to be the best we can be. Congrats to Tommy Lillywhite on playing his 50th game, well done knackers.
Round 10: Thunder v Hastings
Up against Hastings back at the Thunderdome, we got our Captain and V/captain to run through the teams pre game and discuss team rules.
We started off really well into the wind which really set the tone for our day, we continued on with it in the second and by half time we'd played some really good footy. Our mids hit the scoreboard which was super pleasing.
In the second half we mixed things up and gave lots of dudes different roles to play , it was awesome seeing everyone take it on board and learn new things. We came away with an impressive victory, the dudes were stoked and belted out the song louder than a pearl jam concert.
Jack L snagged 4, Archie 3 and Harvey 2. Great to see Jon L, Liv and Flynn have a run on the footy.with Rory and Harvey in the ruck. Harvey got B.O.G for his hard work up forward. Zav B's tackling pressure was all time. Rory and Jack Smeddles both played really well in their 50th game. Well done lads and Nat and Liv got the chockies for their continued improvement.
Auf wiedersehen amigos
Round 11: Thunder v Rosebud
We travelled to Main Ridge to take on a much improved Rosebud team that had a real crack all day. We weren't at our best but we came away with a 7-8 goal victory in the end. Our intensity and pressure has dropped off slightly from our best but there is still continued improvement from the whole group.
Congrats to Archie Conroy on his 50th game, Hayden Perdikomatis ran all day and was B.O.G. Jack Leete, Archie, Zav.B did their thing, Rhett Waterfall went up forward in the last and snagged a couple and provided a real target.
Bye week this before a real testing last month that will be a fantastic challenge for this group. I reckon we're up for a it.
Round 12: Thunder BYE
Round 13: Thunder v Sorrento
We made the long and early trip down to Sorrento for an 8am kick off. Pre game was pretty rushed unfortunately but we came out and within the first minute, Jack Leete sharked the ball out of the middle which ended up with Rhett Waterfall running into a pocket. Hard on the boundary line, Rhett snagged a fantastic running goal and we were away.
The first half was tight, we were a goal down at half time and right in it.
The third quarter Sorrento out worked us, especially out of the middle and too many easy chest marks up forward hurt us. They banged on 3 quick ones and really that was the difference in the game. The pleasing thing for me was we didn't stop and drop our heads. We played some really good team footy in the last quarter and snagged a couple. The final margin was a 22 point defeat.
Which as I said to the dudes after the game, losing by 22 points to a team that is second on the ladder is no disgrace, but are we happy with honourable losses or do we want more?
Rory Goding down back was fantastic and got B.O.G, Jack Leete, Zav Barry in the guts tried all day, Nat O’Sullivan in his 50th was great also, congrats buddy. Arch Conroy and Tommy Lilly pilly on the wings were good.
We know what we need to work on, we'll work hard and come out this week firing.