By Matt Fotia
Narre Warren Senior coach Matt Shinners says that his sides loss to Berwick on the weekend had have more to do with the Magpies mindset than anything else, but is focused on the task at hand this weekend ahead of a Premier Division Qualifying Final against Beaconsfield.
The Magpies lost to Berwick for the second time this season on the weekend, despite having the lead at three quarter time. Shinners cited the Magpies inability to make their moves count early in the game, a problem they’ve encountered on multiple occasions this season.
“Bit of a shame really, we didn’t put the score on the board early,”
“That’s been one of the frustrating things all year, we miss a lot of shots we should kick, and on the weekend they went down the other end and scored easily,”
“In the third quarter we did a lot better, stuck to our gameplan a lot better, kicked six quick goals, but the last quarter was disappointing.”
Shinners highlighted some loose, unaccountable football from his Magpie outfit in the final quarter, as they coughed up a four point three quarter time lead to finish up 32 points in arrears at the end of the day, giving up the minor premiership as well as the victory.
“It was more to do with us not having the mindset right,”
“We were four points up at three quarter time and had done all the right things to get to that point,”
“We had some young kids in the side which was good, but we just didn’t play to our strengths, our ball movement and decision making was pretty poor,”
“We turned the ball over easily, we had them on the back foot and then we would turn it over and it went back past us and they’d score.”
The Magpies must move on quickly however, as they face a Beaconsfield side which knocked them off at last time of asking, in a thrilling encounter at Holm Park, the Eagles are coming off a strong win over Woori Yallock as well.
Shinners believes that the two sides are very similar and will be focusing on how his side can control the game.
“Both sides are very similar, they’ve got a smaller, younger forward line that’s quick,”
“Young Johnson (Matthew) kicked six last time and they were a lot better than the first time we played them (round two),”
“But it’s (finals) a lot different to the home and away games,”
“We’ve got players coming back that’ll compliment our side, but it’s about making sure we get the game back on our terms,”
“Control the football and the pressure you put on the opposition when they have it – that’ll be the line we go down this week.”
Whilst many expect the battle for the premiership to be between the top three South East sides (Berwick, Beaconsfield and Narre Warren), Shinners isn’t discounting Woori Yallock, with the Magpie coach pointing out that the Warburton Highway Tigers have been playing some good football all season long, and that finals series often throw up surprises.
“I think Woori Yallock have certainly been the best side from the Yarra Valley, they’ve been really consistent,”
“I think they’ll be excited with their season so far, they’re playing some good football and anything can happen now.”