Semi Final '19: Demons vs Wildcats (Premiership)

Frank Caldow | 25.07.19

Wandsworth Demons 8.10.58 def. by West London Wildcats 15.13.103

After a top 2 finish the biggest challenge of the year was upon with the reward being a spot in the Grand Final and the week off. 

It was always going to be a massive test, with Wests winning both home and away contests by lengthy margins. 

We kicked against the breeze in the first term and from the get go it was clear we had come to play, applying physical pressure from the first bounce. The first 10 minutes it was a really hot football with neither side being able to win much clean football. Wests kicked the first goal but as the quarter progressed we played the better football winning the quarter taking a 5 point advantage into the first change.

Kicking with the breeze in it was important that we consolidated on the work from the first term to try and sustain and build on the early advantage. We struggled to use the breeze to our advantage, too often opting for the long kicks into our forward 50 which played into the hands of the opposition. The physical pressure that resulted in opposition turnovers wasn’t as prevalent and we went into to main break 10 points down. Although the quarter didn’t go as planned we were still very much in the contest. 

The 3rd term it was all about resetting and bringing the physical pressure that won us the first term. If we could restrict Wests scoring power and get the game back on our terms we would go into the 3 qtr time break with a huge chance. It wasn’t to be unfortunately, with Wests raising the bar kicking 2 goals within the first 5 minutes and over the course of the quarter piled on 6 goals to 1 to take a 42 point advantage into the last break. 

It was a deflated group at the last change and it was important that they understood they couldn’t roll over and what we needed to do was use the quarter to again reset and try and get the game back on our terms. Starting with the physical pressure and when in possession to find that balance between speed and composure. For patches of the quarter we did play some good football but the damage already done Wests ran out 56 point victors. 

Pig was excellent starting forward and spending plenty of minutes through the midfield. Royesy also had a great game, tackling hard and applying the pressure around the contest to cause turnovers. Kirby won the battle against Wests key forward Hugh Sandilands and Stewie Williams was again strong in defence winning his direct matchup. It was Stew’s last game and from everyone at the club we thank him for being involved these past 2 years.

We go into a do or die battle against the Lions tomorrow and considering both teams have won a game each with margins of 1 and 2 points it is clear the game will be hotly contested and most likely come down to the wire. If we are able to bring and sustain the physical pressure from the first quarter last week we will be very hard to beat. With the extra intensity of finals football against quality opposition it is crucially important we are able to sustain our brand of football for 4 quarters. If we do that then we get an opportunity at another Grand Final. 

Best Players: Pig, Royes, Kirby, Needles, Brayden, DJ, Watson

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