Royals find positives in loss

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian

Chapman Valley Football Club fell five points short of their second win after a tense fourth quarter and strongly contested match against Railways last Saturday.

Railways became noticeably anxious in the second half as Chapman Valley led the scoreboard but scored two goals and four behinds in the final quarter to manage a 9.12 (66) win over the Royals 9.7 (61).

Railways assistant coach Michael Librizzi stepped in, with head coach Karl Pirrottina away.

Librizzi said it was not their best footy and disposals had let them down but he found where the team needed more work.

“We over-possessed the ball a bit and didn’t get it into our forwards quick enough and when we did go forward a few times, we turned it over with poor skills,” he said.

“We have a lot of new players, new coaching staff and new structures to implement, so there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“The Valley came out to play — we’ve got to give them real credit. They’re a super-determined team and had more foot speed than us.”

Librizzi said the team — after a few position changes — regained momentum to seal the victory in the final quarter.

“Ben Saunders moved to half-forward for us and he gave us a good target and Mitchell Boyle, Jai Russell and Drew Tunbridge played outstanding all day,” he said.

Royals coach Russell Banks said it was a great spectacle and a great contest from both teams.

“Obviously, we’re a little disappointed we didn’t get across the line but from our point of view for a young side, it’s another step in the right direction,” Banks said.

“I think we followed instructions, played to our strengths, stuck to team rules and structures. Railways run very well from behind the footy and our forwards worked really hard to stop that happening.”

Despite the loss in the final quarter, Banks said he was happy with the result going up against a top-three team in the league.

“One of the goals we set for ourselves at the start of the year was to be competitive. We’ve played everybody but Rovers and we haven’t been disgraced,” he said. “We’ve been competitive in all our games.

“Looking forward to Towns next week — it’s another challenge and another step in the direction we want to head in. It’ll be good to see where we’re at from round 1 to round 6.”

Railways will face Mullewa next Saturday, which Librizzi said would be a hard match.

“It’s a massive test against Mullewa — they are always quick and very skilful,” he said. “We only got up a few goals the first time we played against them, so it’ll be a very hard game again.”

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