It was what we needed after securing a hard fought win against the Cowboys at a wet Leichhardt Oval the week before. The win kept us in touch with the top 4 but it was a performance far from our best. We toiled away and worked hard but after getting to a comfortable lead, we got in cruise control for a 15minute period midway through the second half which allowed them back into the game and again we had to find another gear and repel their advances for the last ten minutes.
To the boys credit, we were able to defend our errors and hold on to a 12 point margin at the end of the game. I was extremely happy with my forwards. They worked hard together as a pack doing all the little extra efforts around the ruck for each other and defensively we had our lowest number of missed tackles so far this year in 20. One thing that we still have to get better at is our completions. We were 28 from 39.
There will always be errors in conditions like that but its where you make them and how you respond to them that gets you the result and I thought we responded well for most part of the game. Our last tackle options can also improve. Twice we got tackled without putting an attacking kick on the end of our set. Last tackle is the most important part of the set. Ordinary sets can turn into great sets and vice versa.
Delouise Hoeter played well again, this time at fullback. He made a couple of brilliant cover tackles at the back and was always a handful with the ball in hand. Brendan Santi was a powerhouse in the middle of the park running for 217m from 23 carries. Andy Fiagatusa also performed well. He has really stepped up in the absence of Nathan Brown and Jake Dooner.
We had a chance to get together as a team after the Cowboys match on the Saturday afternoon. I believe it is important that we get a chance to socialise together away from football. It is a matter of being smart about when to do that sort of thing. With the bye, there was no better opportunity to do something like that.