3 Losses from 3 against Collegians

17 May 2015

Collegians took the spoils in all 3 games on Saturday. Deservedly so.


St Bernard’s senior teams ran into a skilful and determined Collegians today, losing all three games to quality opposition.  Today’s results were disappointing, and highlight the quality of opposition teams in the VAFA top flight Premier division.


St Bernard’s 13.10.88 defeated by Collegians 14.11.95

Best: S.Caven, M.Angel, N.Cooke, J.Bennie, S.Woods, A.Merrington

Goals: A.Merrington 4, A.Bentick, J.Bevanda, A.Boyse, S.Clarke, N.Kazuro, J.Manunzio, A.Singleton, A. Campbell, D.Colaco

A perfect day for footy saw St Bernard’s head to Harry Trott to take on Collegians. With last year’s preliminary final loss still etched in our memories, before the game coach, Anthony Rock reminded the players of that disastrous losing score of 5.22. We clearly had plenty to play for.  We had seven changes from last week, welcoming back, Nathan Kazuro from injury, and inclusion of first gamer, Darren Colaco.  

Kicking with the breeze in the first quarter St Bernard’s looked their best when they moved the ball quickly and gave our tall forwards the opportunity of a one-on one contest. Andrew Merrington looked particularly dangerous kicking three in the quarter. We finished the first quarter three goals up, but after an early goal by Alex Boyse in the second quarter, Collegians took control. In a six goals to one quarter, St Bernard’s were unable to stop the run of the Collegian’s players. With Adam Bentick being well held, we were struggling to get first use of the ball. Collegians were able to string successive handballs together and move the ball quickly into their forward line, resulting in their big forwards being able to out manoeuvre our backs. To their credit St Bernard’s players stuck to the task gamely and had plenty of the ball. In a low scoring last quarter we came close to snatching a close one.     

James Bennie and Michael Angel were good all day, they stuck to the task and played very disciplined footy. Simon Caven marked strongly and was a strong presence at both ends of the ground. People who had watched Sam Woods in the Juniors know what a good player he is and now his hard running and strong marking is proving to be a real asset for the Seniors. 

After the game, one of the ‘experts’ claimed that this year’s Premier Division is one of the closest he has seen. I think I agree. Now for Carey!



St. Bernards:   0-1,  1-4, 1-6, 1-10 (16)
Collegians:      3-3,   6-6, 9-7, 11-9 (75)

Goal kicker: Luke Scerri 1

Best Players: Jake Forder, Zac O'Halloran, Ben Peart, Ed Connelly, Gaicomo Zoccali, Nick Burgin

After winning 3 games in a row, the game versus Collegians was for a position in the four with 4 wins. We were very disappointing in the 1st qtr with Collegians moving the ball with great precision hitting targets up forward and kicking 3 goals. Our 2nd qtr started very well with 60-70 % possession but poor execution up forward and failure to man up Collegians' spare man in our forward line. Collegians capitalised on our poor disposal skills and poor work rate by many of our players to score another 3 goals to our 1 goal for the qtr.

The 3rd qtr was a repeat of the 2nd qtr with St. Bernards matching possessions with Collegians but failing to convert our opportunities resulting in Collegians scoring 3 goals to nil. The team structure was switched around at 3/4 time in an attempt to get some run and create space. Whilst we scored only 4 behinds, George Garth up forward showed how leading to the kicker and movement could create scoring opportunities. Collegians came to play from the first bounce, obtained the ascendency and didn't let us into the game for the remainder of the match. Sneaky Forder stood up in defence under fire then later in the ruck. Zac O'Halloran again showed improvement with his ruck work and contesting up forward not only in the air but also on the ground. Ben Peart and Ed Connelly continued to work all match but their disposal let them down on occasions. Gaicomo Zoccali and Nick Burgin demonstrated the work rate necessary to compete against a well drilled Collegians but unfortunately didn't have the support of many of their teammates on the day.

Hopefully this was a one off shocker, which won't be repeated again. The lesson from the day was come to play mentally and physically and lack of work rate results in poor execution of our structure and game plan.


Final Score:  St Bernards 9-7-61 were defeated by Collegians 13-9-87

Goals: P.Harris 4, F.McNicol 2, J.Bromley, S.O’Keeffe, W.Kingston

Best: L.Neal, D.Ryan, D.Hurley, A.Gurrisi, P.Harris, M.Dillon.

St Bernard’s thirds were searching for four wins on the trott when they faced off with Collegians at Harry Trott oval. Unfortunately we were unable to get the four points eventually going down by 26 points. We flew out of the blocks, as planned, but were inaccurate in front of the big sticks which allowed the opposition to stay in touch, at the first bell it was 3-4 to 3-0.

It was game on in the second and the message was to keep the physical pressure on the opposition and try and force errors. The opposition opened the game up with quick ball movement and strong marking up forward which was in stark contrast to the Bernards boys as we could not hit targets or get any run happening. Game ending injuries to Chicka and Bisognano put us behind the eight ball as we limped into half time while adding only one behind to the quarter time score despite having as many forward entries as the opposition. Half time it was 3-5 to 7-2.

After a lot of soul searching at the long break our effort in the third term increased and the game went up a notch, but we could not get consecutive goals and the opposition answered every challenge, a blow- out was on the cards as the injury toll was mounting. We were hanging on grimly as our opponents were showing us a clean pair of heels and threatened to blow the game apart. At the last break it was 6-5 to 12-5.

At the ¾ time huddle the coaches tried to rally the troops as we needed to get some positives from this game and refuse to put up the white flag. To their credit the boys responded to the challenge and were able to outscore the opposition in the last term and finish strongly. Basic skill errors and poor decision making in particular with our tackling proved very costly. As a group and individually we need to close the gap between our best and worst performances, if we had of capitalised on our dominant first quarter by kicking accurately, all of a sudden you are in with a chance! Next week we are up against an unbeaten SKOB’s outfit with a 9:20 AM start. This will be a huge challenge and will be a test of character for us all. Extra running is compulsory Tuesday night for this group.  

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