By Matt Fotia
Mount Evelyn A Grade netball coach Kaitlyn Black believes that continuity at either end the court has been the biggest driver behind the Rovers push for glory in 2019, following their eight goal win over Monbulk on the weekend.
The Rovers sit clear in second place on the ladder after the weekends victory which saw them hold the Hawks to just 10 goals in the second half.
The Rovers have been strong defensively all season conceding just 260 goals across their nine games, 12 better than the next best defence ROC, and it’s something that Black is very proud of.
“We’ve got the lowest goals against record and that’s something we should be really pleased about considering the quality of the goalers we come against, like Steph Puopolo who has been regularly shooting 40 plus goals a game.”
Black pointed out that the three regular defenders have all been playing together for a few seasons and are beginning to understand the Rovers game plan.
“The three defenders we have are getting plenty of continuity, we have had a consistent defensive end for a couple of years and we’re are really starting to understand and stick to the game plan,”
“It’s the team style of defence that has improved quite a lot.”
Whilst their defence has been the foundation of this seasons success, the combination of youthful pair Ellie Karalua and Georgia Marsh has also served Mount Evelyn well, with the former representing the Outer East in AFL Victoria Community Championships earlier this year.
It’s an interesting goal circle because both of them (Karalua and Marsh) are natural Goal Shooters and trying to get them working together was a bit of a challenge in the earlier games this season,”
“Sometimes it’s really clicked and others it was a bit of a work in progress, but they’re starting to come together really well now considering they’re both under 20 years old,”
“This year has been a bit different for them because in previous years I’ve played that feeder role and now one of them has to take on that role,”
“But they’re both starting to find their feet and get some really good goaler-to-goaler passing going.”
Despite the win at the weekend, Mount Evelyn remain two games behind the undefeated ROC, who won their Round Six clash by 14 goals.
Black says their defence held strong all afternoon, but their ball movement continued to breakdown through the mid court against the Roos.
“Defensively we went well against them (ROC), it was more the breakdown in attack, they were really good at pushing us deep into the pockets and picking off those high balls,”
“They cut off our angles and we got overwhelmed and flustered by it.”
The Rovers weren’t at full strength on that occasion however and Black is intrigued to see how their full strength side will match up against the current divisional benchmark.
“I’m curious to see how our full line up will go next time,”
“We need to go back to our short game, cut out those high balls and not let them dictate the play.”