Rovers edge Kats in hard-fought thriller

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Sport - Ben Leahy

Port Hed­land Rovers have kept their flag hopes alive af­ter hang­ing on in a gritty seven-point win over the Kar­ratha Kats in last weekend’s North Pil­bara Foot­ball League clash.

Both sides hit each other with crunch­ing tack­les, but it was the Rovers who made up for their in­ac­cu­rate kick­ing by show­ing added in­ten­sity around the con­tests in their 6.12 (48) to 6.5 (41) win over the Kats.

Rovers coach Greg Mas­trangelo said slip­pery con­di­tions made ball han­dling dif­fi­cult and meant “the tack­ling pres­sure was on … from both sides”.

“(It was) greasy footy … (but) when the ball did spill out … we were able to con­trol it and get it into our for­ward-50,” he said.

“We did miss a few op­por­tu­ni­ties that might have got us fur­ther in front.”

“But at the end of the day, the guys did the job when it counted and got away with the win.”

The Rovers now sit fifth on the NPFL lad­der, tied with the third-placed Kats on two wins and three losses, but lag­ging be­hind on per­cent­age.

How­ever, boost­ing per­cent­age will be no easy task for the Rovers as they meet top two sides South Hed­land Swans and Wick­ham Wolves in the com­ing fort­night.

De­spite the chal­lenge, coach Mas­trangelo said his team’s re­cent back-to-back wins gave his side new con­fi­dence.

“They’re the top two teams and the boys are un­der no il­lu­sions … (it) is going to be tough,” he said.

“But if you win close games like the one last night, it holds you in good stead.”

The Rovers can jus­ti­fi­ably take pride in their re­silience against the Kats on a day when the club cel­e­brated its Pink Day fundraiser in sup­port of the Na­tional Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion.

Wear­ing pink jumpers, the play­ers did can­cer sur­vivors proud by fight­ing all the way.

In the re­serves, the Rovers en­joyed a day out, thump­ing the Kats by 20.7 (127) to 2.5 (17), with for­ward Mark Cash­ion un­der­ly­ing his class with 11 goals.

Pic­tures: Ben Leahy

Rovers ruck­man Tom Pa­ton punches clear of the con­ges­tion against Kats tall Bray­don Becker.

The nor­mally elu­sive Chase Rye is locked up on this oc­ca­sion by his Rovers op­po­nent.

Bren­don Robin­son sets him­self to lay a goose step on his charg­ing Kats op­po­nents.

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