Team Hawkins had a quick 5-day turnaround when playing under the lights against Willoughby Wildcats on Friday night. While the parents were looking forward to the warm confines of the LCC Soirée, their sons were sweating it out on the field. It was the very first time that all 14 players were available this season; it was great to see and a good problem to have to worry about interchange rotations, rather than plugging holes with loan players. Shane was Captain this week.
To try and get the boys “hot” for the game the coaches changed the pre-game routine to include more reactive and physical work. Our focus points were on getting the ball moving forward, staying in front which was a big problem the previous week, and sticking with your man. This last was an issue throughout the game in all zones, but was particularly costly in defence, where a number of times, free opposition players were able to get their hands on it close to goal.
The Wildcats started with a very strong centre rotation, and the ball was continually being returned from the midfield zone to the back zone. Our defenders were certainly working very hard and it was not long before we were three goals down, and it was only the first quarter! The quarter time break saw a rotation and a focus on getting onto the ball first, and this evened things out for the remainder of the night. It was not until the third quarter, however that Jude kicked our first goal. This was followed in the fourth by a strong goal from Angus and another from Jude, both players returning to the field from injury. Team Hawkins had won the second half but were not able to recover from the goals kicked in the first quarter and finished the game in second place.
Despite the disappointment of a loss, the debrief was encouraging and upbeat, and the team song was sung loudly.
Somehow the night game meant a whole host of injuries on both sides, and “Purple Hearts” went to Angus, Dylan, Jude and Tommy. Tommy’s strong rebound through the centre in the third, splitting traffic and booming kick, all with a blood nose won him the Best Defensive Play. Angus played well all through the game, despite injuring his hand in the first, he had the magic spray and bugged the coaches that he was fine to come back on. He kicked a good goal in the third and was awarded the Best Team Player. Noah was a quiet, solid contributor and was awarded the Coach’s Hot Chocolate.
Hawkins look forward to one week’s bye and then face Manly Hornets at Mike Pawley Oval.
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