2012 NWPL: Balmain 8 : 9 UWA Torpedoes

Whilst there was a bit of luck on Torpedoes’ side when they scored 2 goals on the rebound, Balmain has to blame themselves for not winning this match. In the last period they had 3 extra-man in a row and failed to convert them through hasty poorly executed shots when they still had enough time to develop the situation properly for a better shooting option.

In the last 30 seconds Balmain defended extra-man and had a 4 on 3 counter-attack with a big enough gap from a chaser to settle properly and score the goal that would have sent the match into a penalty shoot-out. But bad passes by Matt Hannan and Mohamed Ali to each other ruined that opportunity.

Torpedoes played well in attack scoring good action goals from perimeter and centre-forward positions as well as counter-attacks. However, their ‘zone’ defence against centre-forward, Gavin Woods, had plenty of ‘holes’ that Balmain’s shooters exploited to the full – 5 of their goals were scored because of Torpedoes’ positioning mistakes and poor blocking. Three other goals were scored from extra-man opportunities.

Torpedoes scored 8 action goals. Some of them were the result of their sophisticated actions. But some were scored because of Balmain’s ‘structural’ defensive mistakes.

Eighteen year old Paul Sindone was Balmain’s most dangerous ‘perimeter’ player who scored 3 goals through sophisticated shots that were difficult for a National squad member, Luke Quinlivan, to save. With his sharp wit, excellent skills and flair, Paul promises to become a top player not only in Australia but on the international arena in the not too distant future. What he needs to learn is how to be a leader who can deliver when it is difficult.

Americans, Cory Nasoff, Charlie Steffens and Brandon Johnson were Torpedoes’ most dangerous shooters scoring most of the team’s goals from perimeter and centre-forward positions. The win was important for the Westerners in their quest to make the top 6 in the regular season.

My overall impression was that both teams have good potential but need more time to fine-tune their play.

X-man: Balmain 6/3 (50%); UWA Torpedoes 3/1 (33%)

Penalty: Balmain 0; UWA Torpedoes 1/0

Referees: Michael Hart and Mark Ridgewell

Comments by coaches and players –

– Andrei Kovalenko (T)

I would like to congratulate the team for winning its first game of this road trip and starting us off in a good position. In general, the game was played quite well and I could tell that everyone gave it 100%. At times, we had opportunities to take the game to a definite outcome but due to the relative inexperience of the team in this environment, we passed numerous opportunities. Even given this tight score line, we only trailed on the scoreboard once.

Defensively, our system worked very well as we were able to fully neutralise Gavin Woods who is a triple Olympian and one of the best centre-forwards in the world. We did however lack the ability to convert our counter-attack opportunities which is something we must work on in the following days. If we had scored at least 50% of those opportunities, there would have never been any doubt regarding the outcome of the game. Our fixed attack worked very well and we especially created lots of goals from perimeter drives. All in all, the team played very well and regardless of the score line, a win will always be a win.

– Paul Sindone (B):

 This was a must win game for Balmain. Although UWA played well, it was disappointing for Balmain conceding two ‘soft’ rebound goals from the 2m line which came at crucial times in the game. Our inability to convert x-man opportunities in the 4th quarter to even the game proved the difference on the night. Consequently, there is now only a remote possibility of making the finals. The players at Balmain have the potential to be a force in the National League in the coming years and I look forward to that challenge.

– Luke Quinlivan (T):

Playing at Balmain is always difficult because the venue has many distractions to overcome. We knew to be successful, we had to accept these distractions, play our system, and have faith that the result would take care of itself. As a goal keeper, playing at Dawn Fraser at night is never easy; it’s very dark so the ball is more difficult to see. Towards the end of the game we probably should have settled play a little more. In another game we might not be so lucky. But fortunately, we were able to come away with the win tonight.

– James Clark (B):

Coming into this game we knew that UWA were going to be a tough opponent, evident from their previous results and current position on the ladder. The first period felt like both teams were testing each other out and the subsequent score proved that, being 2 all at the break. However, from there we didn’t improve as we weren’t able to capitalise on their mistakes and lapses in our defence saw them score some easy goals. Good shooting in the second half meant the game was close, however, we never managed to get in front. I definitely believe that we were capable of winning tonight had we been better during crucial periods in the game. There are some positives that we will take away for Thursday’s match where nothing but a win is acceptable.

– George Ford (T):

Tonights game was quite fast paced.

Being a tough test between two closely matched teams, we led the whole game but never took total control.

It was great to come away with the win and am looking forward to our next encounter.

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

2 Responses to 2012 NWPL: Balmain 8 : 9 UWA Torpedoes

  1. Ian Calpin says:

    Every one of the Tigers knew how much this game meant to our season, and it was obviously disappointing to not get a win. Our finals hopes are still alive, though we’ve made it much more difficult for ourselves.

    This loss can be broken down to two items for us, (1) disappointing 1:1 defense against the Torpedo’s US imports, including a few lucky rebounds, gifted UWA some easy goals, and (2) our inability to effectively focus our efforts in attack.

    I’m looking forward to our rematch on Thursday, when our coach will return from a 2 game suspension, and will hopefully provide the direction and focus we lacked in last nights match.

    Ian Calpin

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