Round 6 2024

Thursday 23 May 2024

Seniors – Nick Caris

The Blacks were 2 wins and 3 losses going into the game against old Melbournians and were searching for another win to stay middle of the ladder come round 7. The boys piled into the cars and trekked down to Elsternwick Park in some great autumn footy weather. In the past few years the blacks have seen this ground in some varying conditions, credit to the grounds people of Elsternwick Park providing a deck made for fast footy and to showcase the skills of both teams. Pregame we were blessed with the presence of black’s legend Bede “Weapon” Mahon on a special occasion where Jackson “Sleepy” Sleep was set to play his debut senior game. Bede spoke to Sleepy’s character and the importance of being not only a good footballer but also a good club person which we all knew Sleepy was. Both the playing and coaching group had the trust in Sleepy that he had done the work in preseason and early games to go out and put his best foot forward.

From the first bounce we could tell it was going to be a heated contest around the ball with some strong and agile bodies in the midfield of both sides. With a slight breeze favouring one end, OM’s had the jump on us on scoring shots. The blacks first major came from one of the settled backline players in Henry Robertson who got on the end of a 50m penalty. Robbo kicked very truly with a straight drop put into the breeze at the scoreboard end which saw the boys get up and about in response to OM’s early class.

Going into the second quarter 10 points down, the message from coach Bower was to stick to pressure footy and win the ball at the contest. Henry Robertson hit the scoreboard for the second time with a booming kick from outside the arc, using the slight breeze to guide the well struck ball home. In the final minutes going into half time, a nice piece of work from Lachlan Knight saw him hit up Ronny Vescio in the goal square to set up a much-needed goal. The slight wind advantage the blacks had this quarter wasn’t best utilized going into half time only trimming the 10-point margin back to 9.

It was evident in the third term that OM’s had some crafty ball users as they piled on 4 goals to our 1 for the quarter. Our ever so strong backline held off the blows well as their ball movement allowed speedy forward entries. At the other end of the ground, it was our tall timber and Adelaide recruit in Angus Rana providing good aerial support and strong contested marking giving us our only major for the term. Similarly, our levitating master Ayiu Makieng had a great presence in the forward line, dominating the airspace with spoils and contested marks. OM’S form continued into the final quarter continuing to score and win clearances.

Some positional changes from the coaching team saw the inner circle of the tight knit backline crew dismantled, with Moorfield and Bennett’s magnets moved around the board in a bid to win the game. Both players showed their versatility and ability to impact the game from different areas of the ground, Moorfield impacting the scoreboard and Bennett strong in the midfield. Like the previous week’s game against Collegians, a final term push kept the game exciting but unfortunately wasn’t enough to get the job done. The final score line read Uni Blacks 9.9 63 to Old Melbournians 10.15 75 in a 12-point loss for the boys. The best players for the day went to Henry Bennett, Max Gray, Henry Robertson, Charlie Francis, Thomas St Clair and Ayui Makieng. Also, special mention to the all-star water carrying duo in Joshua Steadman and Bede Mahon who kept the boys well hydrated throughout the match. They both looked like they were moving well and wouldn’t be far off donning a black’s jumper if they wanted to.

Reserves – Tom Crozier

On a perfect day for football, the reserve team was eager to face Old Melbourne coming off a character building 6-point loss to Collegians. Elsternwick Park was in magnificent condition as the boys ran out hoping for their first win of the season. The team was inspired by a pregame rev up from John 'Perc' Perks leading the boys into battle.

The first quarter saw the blacks kicking without the breeze. The first 5 minutes was extremely hot with both sides going hard for the footy. However OM's intense attack on the ball and polished outside ball use allowed them to quickly kick away from the blacks.

With the breeze the second quarter saw a much better effort from the blacks. Our intent on the ball and contest work was where it needed to be coming up against a polished OM's side. We managed to kick our first major thanks to Kyle Reynolds injecting some much needed hope into the boys. Patto's speech at halftime injected some life into the boys and they were ready to run out for the second half.

The third quarter saw the boys put up a valiant effort with OM'S only adding 10 points with the breeze. Jake 'Push Up' Schroeder and James Connelly lead the way with their grunt and contested work trying to spark some life into the boys.

The fourth quarter saw the boys back kicking with the breeze for the final term. We managed to kick our second major for the day thanks to Samuel 'Unc' Henning. The boys fought until the end despite the constant attack from OM'S. Alex Byrne, Rory Edwards and Sean 'Hennessy' Heiner-Hennessy were vital down back all day displaying true blacks spirit all day. Overall, a disappointing day for the reserves boys who saw Old Melbourne as a winnable game. We will regroup and prepare for Old Xavier at home next Saturday.

Phoenix – Dolen Vogel

The Phoenix were gifted with the rare opportunity of a sleep in on the weekend, with a twilight match against the Collegians starting at 4:45PM on Saturday afternoon. After a comfortable win against Old Melburnians the week before, the Phoenix were looking to make it two on the trot, a feat that hasn’t been achieved for quite some time.

Going into the first quarter, the Blacks seemed to have most of the play. Gaz utilised his heavily skewed height and weight advantage in the ruck, and was putting it down the throat of the on-ballers, who quickly moved the ball into the forward-line. Nick Powell clunked a few marks in the forward-line, but the Blacks were unable to convert into a goal. Punters at the neighbouring oval could hear David Drentin yelling ‘Deez’ Footy!’ whenever the ball was sent in the air into the backline. However, his tactic of yelling in his opponents ear seemed to work, as Deez didn’t drop a single mark the whole game. Blacks held a narrow 2 point lead at quarter time.

The second quarter saw an overall lift from the boys after a quick regroup. James Lyons took the mark of the year on the wing in front of the opposition coaches, cementing himself in the team in his best performance of the year. Lachlan Periera kicked the Blacks’ only goal of the quarter, landing us two points behind at the main break.

Going into the third quarter, the boys felt they had much more to give. And they hadn’t given up their whole Saturday to go down without a fight. The boys kicked a further two goals, with Cris Santoro leading by example out of the centre. In a confusing last two minutes of the quarter where the siren hadn’t gone with the scoreboard reading no time left, the Collegians found themselves with a set shot after the third quarter siren. The Blacks were up at three quarter time by just one point.

The final quarter saw an early goal from Santoro from the pocket, giving the boys a boost early on. However, the Collegians fought back, and saw most of the quarter in their forward-line. Drentin, Francis and Bell were solid in defence, making every effort to stop the opposition from gaining a scoring shot, and maintaining the Phoenix lead. However, a late goal with a few minutes of the game left put the Collegians up by two points. Struggling to get it out of defence, the Blacks made a final surge to torp it straight up the centre of the ground in the final 30 seconds of the game. The ball was marked by the opposition in the centre circle with 10 seconds to go, cementing the Collegians’ win. A tough loss south of the Yarra. The Phoenix look to bounce back at home next week against Fitzroy.

Under 19s – Jack Floyd

It was a huge week for the Unders, for the first time in a few years they were to face off against the old enemy; Uni Blues. The stage was set for a feisty clash, both sides coming off big wins the week prior; the Blacks for the first time this year and the Blues with a massive 195 thrashing. With a cup and more importantly bragging rights on the line it was game on with a cold and windy Melbourne day shining a warm sunlight onto the Crawford.

Going uphill and against the breeze it wasn’t going to be an easy start for the Unders, and a quick opening goal to the Blues sure didn’t help. With a number of the usuals out with injury and concussion concerns the midfield took a new look of Ripper, Turnbull-Gent, Delzoppo and Daffey who all stuck their heads over it and fought the fight. The Blacks battle the quarter out however fighting against a stiff wind their ball control was not up to par and the Blues took advantage, kicking another four goals to finish the first with a commanding lead 5.4 34 to the Blacks 0.0 0.

Reorganising was required both on the field and in the minds as the Blacks looked to make amends for their poor start. The bigger bodies of McInnes, Rossato and Bailey began to rotate through the middle to counteract the size advantage the Blues possessed at the contest. The changed had seemed to work as the Blacks kicked the first and looked very much in control for the first seven minutes. The remaining 18 minutes however were once again fought mainly in the Blues territory. Skahill, Pick and Molinaro were once again strong against the fast entries but could only do so much at times, seeing the Blues slip through another four goals to extend their halftime lead to 54 points, 9.8 62 to 1.2 8.

Down to three on the bench with injuries the second half hadn’t started the way many would’ve liked for the Unders, yet they continued to fight on. A few more positional changes and the Blacks were looking like a new team, McInnes into the ruck and Ripper up front provided the target for the Blacks first of the term. Another quick goal to Sands-Morris and the Unders were on the charge, tearing through the middle and finally transitioning the ball cleanly from end to end. For the first time al the day the Blacks won’t he quarter and although the scoreboard didn’t reflect it the effort and intensity was miles ahead of what opposed them. With the difference moving int he right direction the Blacks knew they were down but far from out, trailing the Blues 10.10 70 to 3.3 21 and with a big final term to come.

The big final term all had been promised never arrived to the dismay of the Blacks faithful. Another injury saw but two of the original six left on the bench and with tiring legs the game ran away. A big revelation of the last quarter was the prowess of Rouston in the guts, providing a size advantage for the Unders and finding his fair share of the footy. Final quarter goals to Sands-Morris and Bailey were about the only highlights bar Matthews’ amazing play along the wing, with gut running and contested ball wins common. The Blues managed five to secure their win 15.14 105 to the Blacks 5.4 34. An overall disappointing day for the Unders, with the build-up during the week the feeling and confidence going into the day was high but it was once again the lack of ball control that cost them in the end. Thankfully another clash with the Blues awaits later in the year and a chance to right the wrongs of the past week. Looking forward the Unders face off against St Kevins this week once again on the Crawf at 9:20. A 47 point loss last week for St Kevins who are sitting at 2-5 so far and one which will definitely be a winnable game for the Blacks provided the ball movement improves.

Round 6 2024

Principal Partners

Major sponsors

Proudly supported by