VAFA Premier B – Fitzroy v Peninsula: Category 5 El Nino shipwrecks Pirates


Category 5 El Nino shipwrecks Pirates


Strategy insights as to team preparation for the season ahead were unravelled by senior coach Nick Mitchell at the pre-game talk he gave to the assembled faithful at the President’s luncheon last Saturday afternoon.


It was apparent to those who had followed the practice matches beginning with the St Bernard’s game at Tullamarine playing fields (training grounds of the AFL Essendon FC) in 35 degree heat that the fitness of the playing group was unquestionable; neither was that of St Bernard’s in a 7 goal 3 goal game their way.


After a six day break and employing a micro Malcolm Blight/Neil Craig Adelaide Crows 97/98 strategy the boys trained a further three nights including the Friday evening before their second practice match against last Saturday’s opponent Peninsula Old Boys. Unlike the expected second half fade in the practice game and a similar falling away in the third practice game against Monash Blues after further heavy training until season’s start the early ‘4 point’ matches so far are a welcome result of all the hard work, and the timing of it, put in by players, coaches, fitness guru Steve Hurl and team managers and helpers. Well done all: so far so good.


We have not had an undefeated start after two games since 2014 when the Roys defeated St Kevin’s at their home ground and drew with Haileybury at the BSO the following week in a game where the Roys held a 15 point lead at three quarter time. Then as now the real test came in rounds 3 and 4; the result a 101 point loss to University Blues at the University oval and another 5 goal defeat by Old Carey, both teams down from Premier A the previous year.


This year we face Old Brighton and St Bernard’s in successive rounds. Old Brighton on their windswept coastal flat oval are a daunting prospect. We have not beaten them there in 2013, 2015 or 2016 though we came within 9 and 19 points respectively in the latter two matches and arguably would have won last year but for two things, firstly the loss during the game, of ‘the anagram’ – ‘General’ Al Green- and secondly failing to kick ‘cleverly accurate’ in the windy conditions. Against St. Bernard’s the score line is more remote. A practice match victory each; Roys 2015 St.Bernard’s this year. A victory in either or both games sets up the season.


On Saturday’s effort we look to have the ammunition for victory. Our young 18 year old Nino Lazaro put the Pirates to the sword with 5 goals. Across the backline Clayton and Lincoln showed if Ted don’t get it/you Eddie will. Our dour South Australian defenders Peter Baccanello and Mark Obushak had plenty to ‘crow’ about post game having shown their ‘personal best’ and ‘modus operandi’ on the BSO before an appreciative group of fans who have adopted them as favourites readily as they did with J Lo last year. All of the aforementioned benefited from the Ligris lightning left footers and the full steam ahead approach of Max Ellis ‘a la’ Southby and Dench circa 1980s.
Relearning his craft in the ruck, after a rowing scholarship sabbatical took him to the USA for three years, Owen Symington is improving exponentially weekly and his raw recruit partner Harris Sholtz Mitchell up from the U/19s is doing likewise. Old hand RNA was not heavily called upon last week but did what he did well leaving the lions share to best players Aiden Burke, Lewis Pavlich and Cailean Moore to control our centre dominance.


Go Roys for your third ‘seasiders’ victory at the BRIGhton Beach Oval.


By George!111


Leave a Comment