Rovers edge Kats in hard-fought thriller
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.
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.