2012 NWPL: Wests 7 : 5 Melbourne

After the previous match the Tigers’ coach, Jeff Barrow, said ‘…my team will be stronger at the pointy end of the season…’ He was wrong. His team played much better the very next day!

The main factor that made two goals difference to the final result in favour of Wests was again Joel Dennerley. He was instrumental in achieving a 100% success rate when his team had to defend in man-down situations 7 times.

One of Joel’s most impressive saves was when Blake Edwards came one-on-one with him and did seemingly everything correct by performing vigorous baulking before throwing a lob shot. Joel went higher and higher, using his legs to reach the ball – when everybody thought he would go down, defying normal rules of gravity and surpassing all expectations of what is humanly possible.

There is no doubt that this and other of Dennerley’s saves were demoralizing for the Melbournians, further reducing their ‘shooting confidence’. By the end of the match their frustration was noticeable when they started to take ‘impatient’ unprepared shots, perhaps trying to catch Joel by surprise.

In a tight goal-for-goal game every goal is important. The goals that the Tigers scored were of high quality. Matt Martin and Slovakian, Tomas Bruder, scored tough centre-forward goals each. James Woods finished well using an off-the-hand shot from a right-hand perimeter position after an excellent pass from Sam McGregor. Scott Carpenter and Matt Martin concluded twice after Melbourne’s counter-attacks.

Wests’ most influential field players were Johnno Cotterill, Richie Campbell, Stephen Cody and American, Thomas Corcoran, who plays strongly in the centre-forward position. These players were most damaging for the opposition through their overall actions. They were also scoring spectacular goals or delivering goal-scoring passes between them.

When the score was 5:4 in Wests favour, an individual goal by Cotterill who skilfully took advantage of the inexperience of Melbourne’s Lachlan Edwards at the end of the third quarter and a counter-attack goal by Cody at the beginning of the last period turned out to be decisive. In the remaining time, the Tigers converted only 1 opportunity from several that they had to lose the match 5:7.

X-man: Wests 4/2 (50%); Melbourne 7/0 (0%)
Penalty: Wests 1/0; Melbourne 0

Referees: Rene Bol and Andrew Carney

Comments by coach and players –

– Jeff Barrow (VT):

Another strong effort from Wests, but I thought we made some good improvements to our game which will assist us for the next part of the season. Joel was again excellent for them and we failed to put enough pressure on him with better shooting. Or perhaps Wests never allowed us to do that. Our defence was much better today but unfortunately we again conceded a few unnecessary goals. Our extra man play again let us down but particularly in the second half. Most importantly we failed to implement what we have practiced. We tried to force the play too much. Matt Martin was good for us and Blake Edwards was also very impressive. I was very pleased with Scott Carpenter and his cover defence; he is a very attacking player and has now developed some good defensive aspects to his game. Several other players also contributed well. For Wests, I was impressed again with Joel, Johnno, Richie and Steve. Their CF Corcoran also worked hard. The referees were again good and consistent. Well done. In summary, we gained a lot from the four games but we would have liked to take away one more win. We are back up in Sydney on Thursday for another 4 hard games and that will make it 8 games in 11 days on the road!

– Johnno Cotterill (WM):

Today was another satisfying victory against the team which was on the top of the ladder. We knew it was going to be a battle and we were prepared to grind out the game. Our defence and Joel were again the keys, and to keep Victoria with all their attacking options to 5 goals in both games is probably the most satisfying aspect of the game. We have a quick turnaround now to the games against UWA this week, and need to maintain our high level against a team which has surprised even the top teams this season.

– Carl Zvekan (VT):

This game produced a better result for us compared to yesterday. Although we lost there are many positives to take out of the game. We did better in neutralizing their more dominant perimeter players. Wests were forced to work hard for the whole game and it was evident that we were more than capable of matching their high game intensity and structural dominance. We once again let ourselves down with poor shot execution and minor defensive lapses that cost us crucial goals. Wests seemed to capitalise on their opportunities whereas we failed to convert easy goal opportunities. Our lack of communication in counter defence also cost us some goals that otherwise would have been eliminated easily. Overall we have come out of this game with a positive mindset – we converted 0 from 7 extra man opportunities – with a few more conversions the game could have produced a result in our favour.

– Thomas Corcoran (WM):

Today we had another big win versus a very tough opponent, Victoria Tigers. Our squad, led by our three national team members (Joel Dennerley, Richie Campbell, and Johnno Cotterill) whom all played extraordinary polo. Joel was a wall in the cage, Johnno continued his national league tear, and Richie continues to prove his stripes as one the premier water polo players in the country. I am proud to play with these three, who undoubtedly will represent their country in the London 2012 Olympics, and the rest of my Magpie teammates. Thanks to our coach, Mark Hubbard, who put us in a great position to perform today, the referees, the fans, and the VIC Tigers. At the end of the day, the sport of water polo was the real winner.

– Tomas Bruder (VT):

The Sunday match between Victorian Tigers and Wests was one of the best matches that I have played in Australia so far. Although the Wests were leading at times, the outcome of the match was not clear until the middle of the last quarter. I can surely say that our weakest point was power play (0:7). In water polo, power play is the action which determines the overall score. Tigers are good and complex team that really work well with the goal of winning the championship title. Wests have a good and complex team with good tactics as well. It will definitely be one of the best league matches, if we meet them in the final games. Finally, I am very glad that the match was very well managed by the referees, too.

About Erkin Эркин Shagaev Шагаев
European, world, Olympic champion, two times World Cup winner Чемпион Европы, мира, Олимпийских игр, двукратный обладатель Кубка мира

4 Responses to 2012 NWPL: Wests 7 : 5 Melbourne

  1. Corrie says:

    Hey Erkin,

    Loving the game reports and hearing your thoughts.
    One quick thing – the score was 7-5 yesterday.

    Keep it up!🙂

  2. John Cotterill says:

    Hey Erkin

    Always an insightful report on the games you observe.

    Looking forward to more reports as the NL progresses.

    Great seeing John Fox taking time, with the demands of his very busy schedule, to watch so many NL games.

    Take Care
    John Cotterill (Snr)

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