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You Win Some, You Lose Some, Hey Brother Pour The Wine

 

The Tigers were on the road again yesterday, making the trip up to Edinburgh to test themselves again against reigning premiers the Edinburgh Bloods, and whilst a 124 point victory to the Bloods isn’t suggestive of a close match between the teams currently placed first and second in the AFL Scotland league the Tigers showed much to be really pleased with in yesterdays game.  

 

As coach Chris Rodger has often said, we learn as much – if not more – about ourselves (as a team and as individuals) from our defeats as we do from our victories, and some of the key observations coming out of yesterdays game were as follows:

 

First up, no Tiger dropped their head or slackened off in their efforts to contest the ball or chase an opponent. That can be a hard thing to avoid doing when a polished opponent is building a strong lead, but the Tigers did themselves proud in that department.

 

Secondly - and going hand in glove with the first observation - there was some outstanding on field leadership shown across all four quarters by a number of players yesterday. 

 

Paddy Blaine was outstanding with his effort, running and voice all day (and his circa 50m torpedo punt goal wasn’t bad either). He brought his trademark intensity to every contest, and was continuously heard driving and encouraging his team mates to do the same from the start of the game until its finish. A ferocious Tiger display for which the club is very grateful! Or should that be grapeful?

 

Similarly, for the second week in a row Brady Evans was really solid and reliable in a Tigers backline that was under pressure all day. He provided plenty of run and counter attack to set up numerous creative passages of play for the Tigers, whilst also remaining accountable defensively. It’s great to have you back young fella!

 

And speaking of young fella’s, Matty Gallagher also showed that he had definitely come to play. He embraced the need to be a mobile and dangerous option in a forward line lacking the height of David Hodgson, and really seemed to enjoy that particular challenge up forward. However, he also brought the focus and energy we’ve been seeing from him at training to the other roles that coach Chris Rodger inevitably had to throw at him yesterday as well, and with uni exams now out of the way is setting himself nicely for a big finals series.

 

And then there was Harry Telfer. In years to come he’s going to look back at photo’s of his current hair cut and ask himself ‘What was I thinking?’, but the trauma of that moment will hopefully be offset by the solace to be found in knowing that he’s one of the first Tigers picked each week because Rodge knows he can trust him with roles in any part of the ground. When the time comes and the pain hits, lean on us Haz, and we’ll get you through it!..

 

And thirdly, our Tiger depth is building. Sure, we were challenged strongly yesterday, but Ollie Harris was great in his first game, Paddy Cain was calm and composed beyond his four games experience (even when thrown into the ruck against a physically much bigger ruckman), Kev O’Brien is getting the hang of aussie rules having only played three of four games, and Andy Elwood had the composure to slot a beautiful goal on the run, whilst at the same time ignoring the insistent demands of Matty Gallagher for the ball to be passed to him! (Woody told me afterwards that he thought Elmo was just encouraging him to have the shot, so he did!!). 

 

All positive stuff, all great fun, and I heard the bus trip home was suitably refined as well!

 

Carn the Tiges.

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