Last Match: Zebras no result Lightning Carnival

Match Report: 30th July - Opponent South Melbourne

Game 1 v East Malvern

With big Callum Rygl in the ruck, the 1st game of the day got underway.  Luke Leo as usual got the first clearance and was well supported by the ever ferocious tackling of Jimmy & Ollie M.  Charlie & Ollie Young were chasing hard and Josh & Quinlan were both doing their job sweeping across the flanks.  East Malvern were playing well though and were able to score 2 goals pretty quickly to our solitary point.  We had a cheeky ruckman up forward with Billy Fordyce jumping against a kid twice his height which started one of the plays of the day.  A knock out that was sharked by Dan Shine, who quickly kicked it forward.  Benny took a strong contested mark and then did a “don’t argue” that Dustin Martin would have been proud of.  His opponent went down as Ben ran around him and he bombed it long to Mr Natural – Ky Rowse.  Rowsey calmly then slotted our first goal.  We were down by a goal at ½ time – 1.1.7 to 2.1.13.

The 2nd half was all about pressure with the ball locked between the two 50 meter arcs.  Josh’s tap down to Luke was reminiscent of Paddy Ryder to Robbie Gray, while Ollie Morrison continue to be first to the ball before setting up team-mates.  Hugo Hall is the master of the big tackle and he put a couple of East Malvern players on the deck, but the biggest tackle was by Josh, Beau and Baxter who absolutely gang tackled a poor kid trying to get a kick.  Baxter had apparently gone to town on the boxing bag this morning (according to his dad Barney), but I bet that his opponents wish he hadn’t as he knocked over to the ground anyway who came close to him.  Quinlan was desperate in attack whilst Charlie and Callum were both taking species at will.  Anty was also tackling hard and then a saving mark in the dying seconds by Billy was enough to ensure that there was no score by either side for the half.  Unfortunately this meant that we had lost the first game, but the boys were just warming up.

Game 2 v St Peters

Lining up on Oval 1 for the second game in a row, St Peters got the ball forward early, but some great defensive pressure by Hugo & Baxter limited them to a couple of points only.  As usual Billy was taking on kids bigger than him, and as usual he was winning most contests.  Max Creaney was able to get a couple of quick kicks out of packs and Luke & Ben were chasing and then dashing away with the ball as they do week after week.  St Peters had a couple of kids who were huge but this didn’t stop Dan Shine from tackling the biggest one in the world (according to Max P) and then Kai Nikka laid the biggest bump in the history of U9 football to put another big dude down!  Max P & Ari were letting the St Peters guys know that they had a game on their hands and Ollie M was again dishing the ball out whenever it came in his area.  The scoreboard didn’t reflect the game situation as at ½ time though and  the score was Zebbies 0.0.0 to St Peters 0.2.2.

Tom & Wayne took the boys aside at the break and whilst no-one except the players know exactly what was said, we all saw the results with the Zebbies coming out to dominate the entire half.  Luke set the scene with another massive tackle, followed by another tackle by Rowsey and then Luke going again.  The crowd yelled BAAAALLLLL – the umpire agreed and we kicked the ball forward.  However despite having the ball in the forward line for at least 80% of the quarter, we just couldn’t put them away and we scored only a solitary point.  As always happens when 1 team attacks for a long period but doesn’t kick a goal, St Peters ran it down just the once, and they did score a goal to put them up by 7.  With the ball going back to the centre we had to work as a team and take our chances if we were to win a game that we were dominating.  The ball got rushed forward and then Anty showed the boys all about team work with a great shepherd to allow Beau to run onto the ball and kick it deep into our forward line.  One of their giants was playing a loose man back and he alone was repeatedly stopping the ball on the last line but we did manage to scramble another rushed behind.  The ball was kicked out and managed to get to CHB, before some great play by Billy managed to rush the ball forward, and then a free kick to Beau (thanks umpire Timbo Young) gave us a shot at goal.  Beau easily converted and the scores were level with only a minute or so to go.  Another clearance to us with the Max’s & Quinlan involved and the ball ended up with Jimmy who kicked a point – we were in front.  Some more desperate play by Anty and Kai Nikka and the siren blew – YOU BEAUTY.  Victory by a point (although it took a while to get thru to Goal Umpire Liam Creaney that we were all waiting on confirmation of the final scores).  2.3.15 to 2.2.14.

Game 3 v South Melbourne

 Game 3 saw us move to the King George Oval 2 for the first time and it did take a few minutes to get settled – but unfortunately this cost us as Sth Melbourne kicked 2 early goals.  Ollie Young was applying pressure in defence and Maxy P was playing like a man possessed stopping almost anything within a 50 meter radius of him.  We were finally able to get the ball down to our forward line where Ari & Charlie teamed well.  Charlie took a great mark in the goal square, but unfortunately his Ben Brown long run up meant that the ball went slightly askew and the kick went behind the stick!  The boys were starting to look a little tired and this was reflected on the scoreboard as at half time we were down 0.2.2 to 2.0.12.

 The last half of the year started with a huge roar after master coaches Tom & Wayne had fired up the boys, but fatigue was clearly setting in and the boys struggled a bit.  Beau was battling away hard in the backline but with at least 4 or 5 of his team mates all now limping, he was trying to hold back the tide.  Max P continually begin our attack from defence and Quinlan was throwing his weight around in the midfield.  Benny Crawford applied a couple of big bumps & tackles late and we managed to scramble a very late point, but the boys had given their all early on, and now had nothing left to give.  The final siren went and although we lost on the scoreboard (12 to 3 I think), all 20 boys who played today, plus the 4 or 5 who couldn’t make it, are winners in our eyes.  Well done to everyone on a great season and no doubt some of the boys are already counting the sleeps until next season.


I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of all the kids & parents to thank 3 very special parents – those being Tom Hall, Wayne Nikka & Michele Rowse.  Without your contributions this year, the season would not have run as smoothly as it did.  Tom & Wayne were fantastic with their coaching of the boys, teaching them so many skills that they will use as their football careers develop.  You never know – we may just produce one or two league footballers!  And Michele once again proved that a totally organised team manager just makes a world of difference to a team.  Thank you Tom, Wayne & Michele…


Chisholm Reserve Sun 30 July

After a strong run of form in recent weeks the boys were hoping to keep the momentum for the last regular game of the season. While the 8.45am start was the earliest of the season and everyone had donned their beanies to support the RCD Foundation, Mother Nature turned on a stunning morning. It was dry, sunny and warm. Perfect conditions for footy.

The first quarter was an arm wrestle with neither team able to score freely. Zebbies started well with Callum firing off a good handpass to Daniel for an early clearance. Max P and Ben were tough at the contest in the midfield and driving the ball forward regularly. Ky Rowse took a strong mark and laid a couple of great tackles on the wing. Jack laid a great smother and followed up with a long kick forward. With our defence under pressure late in the quarter, Jimmy Pavis provided a couple of great rebounds to keep South Melbourne to a couple of points for the quarter.

The second quarter started with Baxter and Beau working hard in the middle to generate clearances. Ky Rowse took another strong mark and moved the ball quickly forward. Josh gathered the ball and kicked forward and showed a fantastic second effort to collect his original kick but his shot on goal just missed. South Melbourne were starting to get on top with a couple of goals and we were under huge pressure defensively. Hugo took a fantastic intercept mark and kicked accurately to Tom O for a quick rebound out of defence. Baxter was continuing to tackle and harass in the middle while Hugo was chasing and tackling hard in defence. Josh was creating opportunities up forward and just missed a goal, hitting the post as we went in at half time a couple of goals down.

The boys came out strongly after half time and started with great intensity. Josh was in everything and laid a couple of great tackles. Luke and Kai N took some strong marks and were consistently driving the ball forward. Jack took a screamer at half back and Billy provided good rebound out of defence. Ky Rowse had a long shot on goal which just fell short and Cooper was starting to win the ball in the forward line. Unfortunately South Melbourne managed to scrape in another goal to put us 3 goals down at ¾ time.

At the ¾ time address the coaches encouraged the boys to keep up the great intensity and to run the game out strongly. The message obviously sank in as they played one of the best quarters of the year. Anthony was working hard in the middle with great tackles and a couple of strong marks. Our forwards were creating good opportunities and Tom O showed his fine skills with a great kick to Billy who handballed to Ky Rowse for a GOAL! This was the spark the Zebbies needed and we kept attacking. Tom O, Billy and Cooper were creating plenty of opportunities with their excellent skills and Jimmy P capitalised on this to kick another GOAL! The Zebbies had lifted their intensity and the game was going down to the wire. Max P and Angus did some great defensive work and Ben provided a storming run out of the backline. Zebbies were attacking again when the siren rang. A strong finish was not enough to overtake South Melbourne who won 3.2.20 to 2.2.14.

While the boys just fell short of the win it was a fantastic team performance full of determination and resilience. The boys never gave up and the stirring fightback in the last quarter was a great way to finish the regular season. The strong finish provides a great springboard into the Lightening Carnival next week. GO ZEBBIES!


Next Match Against

Date: Fri, Aug 4th, 0017