The reserves lost heavily to ladder-leaders Mazenod on the road in Round 6.
Heading into the first break a mere 10 points adrift, the Redbacks were hoping that the Colombia Drive end would prove the day’s scoring half of the ground but Mazenod took full control of the match with a second quarter burst of 4.6. Mazenod added another 5.12 to no score in the second half to win by 80 points, 10.20 to 0.
With injured player and Academy executive committee member Sarah McKenna taking the reins of coach for the day, RMIT fought the contest out to the dying seconds. Considering the sheer weight of Mazenod’s forward entry, it speaks volumes of the discipline of the Redbacks’ defenders that only 10 goals were conceded. Two more players joined the Redbacks’ growing ranks as Rachel Nisbet, Brianna Daw and Jade Wiri played their first matches for RMIT.
Returning to the field via the reserves, Eliza Goulding was prolific in the backline and produced a BOG performance as she repeatedly took marks in the goal square and drove her side away from danger.
RMIT 0.0 (0)
Mazenod 10.20 (80)
Best – (RMIT) Goulding, Allibon, Nannetti, Jago, Ross, Nisbet.
The seniors were left rueing inefficiency in their scoring half after being outlasted in the dying minutes. Heading into the final quarter 13 points behind, the Redbacks peppered the goals but couldn’t break through for the major that would have brought the momentum up to a pressure-cooker point.
Bolstered by the return of captain April Goldring, key defender Neve O’Connor and forward Isabella Symes, the Redbacks posted two majors in the first quarter. In a frenetic twenty minutes between the third and fourth quarters, RMIT pushed goalward and locked the ball inside but could only add minors to their tally.
By becoming the first RMIT player to kick multiple goals in a match, Tahlia Ingram continued her step-by-step growth into a fine and reliable footballer. Her fantastic defensive hunger was also on show with a thrilling run-down tackle on the half-forward line in the last quarter. Similarly influential was Jasmine Host, whose accurate disposal was crucial in the Redbacks’ ball movement, and Shayla Gamble with her repeated efforts with the ball in dispute.
Senior debutant Beth Scutt played as ruck/key position but her repeated efforts at ground level showed how naturally she fit into the higher level. Similarly, fellow first-gamer Elin Averius’ pace was crucial in breaking congestion for RMIT.
RMIT 3.5 (23)
Mazenod 6.6 (42)
Best – (RMIT) Ingram, Host, Clough-Good, O’Connor, Goldring, Symes.