Round 4, St Lukes Oval
Surprisingly there wasn’t much talk about the round 4 game against Wests being a Grand Final rematch.
It’s been 10 months since the last time these two teams played and this over enthusiastic match reporter had already lined up clichés and puns about how revenge is a dish best served cold and how the cold (and wet) Sunday presented the perfect setting for an old fashioned grudge match.
As is so often the case however, reality is different to expectation.
When the Cannons ran onto St Lukes in the freezing cold and pouring rain, their thoughts were not about last year’s grand final. Nor were they thinking about the way they were completely overrun in the rain at St Lukes two weeks earlier. They weren’t even thinking about their convincing victory under cloudless skies last week.
They were thinking only about the game and the very clear instructions that coach Paul had given them. They knew that the conditions were difficult and they would have to focus and concentrate. They thought about their individual roles and how each of them had to contribute in order for the team to succeed.
They were focussed. But, importantly, they were focussed only on what was in front of them!
Wet weather footy is never pretty or spectacular to watch. It is a gritty, physical test of determination and commitment.
Everyone on the field, including the umpires, find themselves cold, wet and struggling to stay on their feet.
In these conditions only teams that hold their structure, communicate and help each other, and are controlled in their use of the ball will succeed.
The 15/2s remained focused throughout the whole game and actually got better as the game (and the rain) went on.
The forwards were patient and followed game plan, reaping the benefits in the final quarter. The midfielders were driven and persistent in playing to their strengths and controlling the ball. The defenders were determined, committed and remained miserly even in the final quarter when the game was well and truly over.
It was hard to see in the rain, but the reward for the team effort was clear to see on the scoreboard with the Cannons running away convincing winners.
On a day when visibility was not good, the Cannon’s performance was not spectacular or pretty to watch but the maturity the boys showed was crystal clear.
The boys were focused purely on the job ahead and they worked together brilliantly to achieve their common goal.
With a couple of very tough games coming up in the next fortnight, the Cannons will need to maintain that focus and continue the belief that if the individually bring the same commitment and effort, the team will has a very bright future.
Why on earth would you want to look back when there is so much excitement right there in front!
- Match reporter, Stephen Grech