By Alex Russell
The Redbacks’ Reserves team returned for their Round Two game against Old Xaverians at Toorak Park and began strong. Captain for the Reserves Mia led by example in her effective tackling during the first quarter, as well as debutant for the team Evangeline who proved to be a standout in her dynamic line-breaking run. Defensively, the girls worked hard, with Meg Bryant holding up the backline; acting in an almost quarterback role as she lead from the front and Jessica’s dedication shepherding play, blocking and tackling for the ball.
The second quarter saw more counter-attack from the Redbacks, with Hannah Coffey acting as a key defensive opponent by playing in position, clearing the ball from the backline with her closing speed proving rapid and she was able to play in front very consistently. In the ruck, Meg Bryant was again a stand out, in her ability to get the ball to the mid and position herself for her teammates.
The third quarter brought a higher level of pressure for the Reserves due to a higher tackle rate, however they responded accordingly with impressive performances from all positions on the field. Prominent players included Mia, Lillie Jago, Steph Flores-Tapia, and Nicole Lane who played effectively in their second and third efforts.
In the last quarter, Isabella kept great composure staying grounded when other players fell out of position, providing options for her fellow Redbacks. The girls concluded the game with their heads held high and an immediate sense of pride for one another and their efforts during each quarter. The final score was 15.11.101 to 0.1.1 with the Old Xaverians proving great competition for the reserves. Evangeline Clough Good was selected as the player of the day for the team, despite having only played her first game this round, however her talent and efforts during the game make this a well-deserved choice. Nice job Vee!
The reserves played without any substitutes, having sixteen players until halftime, then playing with fifteen. Head Coach Gezim Zeneli was very happy with the development from the girls from their previous game and believes that with an increase in players in the future there will be more opportunity for improved results. Go Redbacks!
RMIT Redbacks 0.1
Old Xaverians 15.11 (101)
The RMIT Senior Redbacks took on the Old Xaverians at Toorak Oval. The girls went into this game wanting to achieve a better performance and it was clear by their attitude on the field and high spirits that they meant business.
The first quarter began with a high tackling pressure from both sides and a commitment to the contest from the Redbacks. This was highlighted by Lydia Davis who within the early minutes of the game fearlessly carried out three tackles which the team was able to use to their advantage.
At the end of the quarter, neither side had scored yet, showing how well the tackling pressure was maintained throughout the quarter as well as a testament to the
The second quarter saw a more open game between the two competitors. Both teams began running for the ball much more during this time with the Xaverians working hard against RMIT, eventually kicking their first goal. A player highlight for the second quarter was midfielder Victoria Quilligan, and her run off half back, providing a consistent option for her teammates.
Coming back from half time, the Redbacks came into the third quarter with more drive to intimidating their opponents. They gave the Xaverians a run for their money, in particular Jasmine Host who laid some hard tackles proving to be a key attacker, as well as team captain April Goldring who backed up Host several times during these tackles. It was here that the girls showed how much they were playing for each other and trying to not only play to get the ball but to keep it.
The last quarter saw the Xaverians advance on the Seniors, kicking several goals however the ball movement was much better for the Redbacks and they made more opportunities for themselves to score bringing the ball to the forward more often. Having held the Xavs to three goals in three quarters the Redbacks conceded 7.4 and the final score was 10.25.85 to 0.
Although the Old Xaverians proved to be the superior side, each Redback player was competitive and driven throughout the game. With a small amount of substituting players for rotation, their ability to play throughout each quarter should be commended and defender Emily Balaburov was also named the best player of the match for the Seniors due to her efforts on the backline.
Reflecting on the second game for the season, Head Coach Mitchell Lower was very happy with their progress from the previous game and how they are learning to be more cohesive as a team and as individual players. In the future they aim to work on their structure in and around the footy, to avoid ball watching too much and notice where each player is positioned. Good effort girls!