Redbacks will learn
THE final score on Saturday was Toowoomba Tigers 12.10.(82), Redbacks 9.9.(63) – a scoreline not indicative of the closeness of the game.
In a tug-of-war type of game the Redbacks came out the losers, but only on the scoreboard.
They would have learnt a lot and taken much away from a hard fought struggle that was there for the taking by either team right up until the final few minutes.
The two biggest lessons to come from the game are that the game is not over until the final siren sounds and when your coaching staff lay out a game plan, you stick to it until told otherwise.
AFL is a team game and as a team the Redbacks did not use the overall game plan consistently.
Individually there were many good players. In fact every single player could walk off that field with their head held high for their personal endeavours.
Combining as a team and sticking to the game plan at times let them down.
Barring injury, I for one genuinely feel that this squad of players, with their combination of youth, experience and desire to win the ball, will be a top-three side by the completion of the home-and-away fixture.
Come the finals, who knows what they could achieve?
Brendan Iles' leadership on the field is brilliant and he again stood out.
Matt Sinkins is probably the smartest footballer around at present and proved that on Saturday with a best-on-ground performance.
Tony Chandler is the most under-rated footballer in the competition and plays with an outstanding defensive six.
The two most improved players in the side, Coen Slatter and Kurt Heier, have brought a whole new aspect to their own games and the team's value.
When the game was there to be won on Saturday, the defending premiers had the edge needed.
Along with a huge home-ground advantage and the luxury of playing on the ground they actually train on, they had what it took to win the close one.
Well-drilled and very fit, they set about the business of winning the game in a professional and craftsman-like way and running the ball into their scoring zone with great accuracy.
The Redbacks, on the other hand, seemed to go the long way around getting the ball into Jason Wright and Aaron Lawlor to score. Kerin Politch and Steve Martin did a solid job in defence aided by Dale Randall and Tony Chandler.
The Reddies must get back on the winning list next week in the all important VSASA ANZAC Cup game against Goondiwindi being played at Slade Park.
A full report on all games, junior and senior will be in the Daily News early in the week.