Match-fitness test for Redbacks
TODAY’S game against Highfields at Kratzke Oval will be only the second outing since April 16 for the Redbacks.
Fitness is one thing, match fitness is another.
Coach Peter Millard has not taken the foot off the pedal at training and knows that his charges are capable of running the game out, but at what pace?
Theirs or ours, will be his major concern.
Millard has set the players immediate aim at winning the final three games of the first half of the season in order to guarantee a top three spot at the turn around.
Highfields are the big improvers from last season and are very dangerous on their home turf.
A fast-running side with many forward options and plenty of all round skill they will offer the Reddies a hard day at the office and will be after a victory in order to retain a position in the top four themselves.
Still unable to field his best twenty-two for this game, Millard is quietly confident that the selected side will do their job.
Missing Andrew Politch and Paul Hutchins, (work commitments), Matt Sinkins and Bryce Bodsworth (family commitments) and Ray Lawer (hamstring), will be covered by the long-awaited return of the dynamic Kurt Millard, two very strong defenders, Dave Cross and Wayne Trim and two rapid improvers Nathien Richards and Nathan Chandler.
Added to his armour are Stewart Day, Clinton McErvale and Luke Bates all facing fitness tests and sitting on the emergency list.
Kratzke Oval is arguably the best playing surface and one of the best all round grounds in the competition and fortunately it does suit the Reddies style of play.
The corresponding game last season had the Lions sitting on 3 : 1 : (19) to no score in the opening 10 minutes of play.
The Reddies were ambushed, something they cannot afford to let happen this game, as this time around they are playing against a much stronger and more aggressive unit.
The Redbacks defence tightened up quickly after that initial onslaught and went on to win 13 : 17 : (95) to Lions 3 : 13 : (52).
Living in the past will not help, living in the present and playing the game out for the full four quarters is the only way the Reddies can even think about victory in this game let alone achieve it.
Milliard’s message to all of his players at training Thursday night was that “this game is an important one to win, commit, play hard and bring it home”.
Players to meet at Risdon Oval between 11am and 11:30am and travel in a convoy as a team.