Derby chance to rebound
FORWARD THINKING IN an ideal world a performance graph for a football team is a straight line with no peaks and troughs: just one consistent level.
Unfortunately that’s rarely the case, particularly with all the variables thrown in during an AFL season.
There are travel factors, home ground advantage and the quality of the opposition, which ensure nothing is ever exactly the same from one week to the next.
When we played Hawthorn at the MCG last Sunday we knew what to expect. The Hawks had lost their first four games and were scrutinised intensely, especially in the Melbourne media.
We knew they would respond and anticipated they would bring their A game to the show-down.
Anticipating what the opposition will bring and dealing with it are two different things and we didn’t match the intensity or polish of the Hawks.
Their form at the start of the season was difficult to understand because they were much better than how they played in the first four rounds.
Unfortunately for us they snapped back to their best against us.
It’s dangerous to write off a champion team like the Hawks, particularly when they still boast so many players who have played in multiple premierships.
It’s hard to explain exactly where it all went wrong, but we’ll conduct the usual review and try to pinpoint a couple of key areas.
We certainly didn’t underestimate Hawthorn, but it was a tough day at the office and we need to produce a response of our own this weekend in the derby against Fremantle.
These games are also big occasions and we’ll look to step it up a notch or two.
There’s a bit riding on it, with both clubs sitting at three wins and two losses after the first five rounds.
No doubt there will be the usual build up in Perth and from our perspective we can’t wait until Saturday night.
It’s our home game, so it will be great to get back in front of our fans and produce a much better effort than we did against Hawthorn.