Well it’s fair to say last weekend’s weather led to probably one of the most anti-climatic opening rounds I think I’ve been involved in.
Wet and windy conditions were certainly not conducive to the typical round one affairs we are accustomed too, while the differing game times across the board also made for a different round one than normal.
Heading into the start of the season, most players are hoping for warm and dry conditions but to rock up last Saturday on opening night and receive July weather after one of the best winters last year was hard to swallow.
While I and many others expected games to be scrappy, the rain added an extra layer of ugliness to the spectacles that we saw and the hail we received at Terang at the start of the third quarter made retreating to the bench sound like one of the better moves for the night, if you were lucky enough to have a rotation scheduled.
I found playing a night game first-up was also a weird experience. It was even harder to fill in the additional preparation time required for the match and while it was great to experience the Super Saturday concept for the first time, I think it needs some tinkering for it to well and truly be considered as something that is fixtured more regularly but more on that another time.
That being said, it was great to open the season with a win and for those other players who opened their seasons with victories for their clubs, the winning atmosphere following the game was a scene many would have embraced and relished in after a long 18 months albeit it being entirely different to normal. I know for us there was nothing better than singing the song, quickly debriefing as a team and then getting together in the showers for a good old fashioned dissection of the game but it was strange to have a limited amount of people in the changerooms following our win. One big talking point for us though was the golf-ball sized egg big Will Rowbottom received on his cheekbone after copping a nice Falcon from a boundary throw-in.
Another point I want to make from the weekend is the form of big Sam Dobson. It’s scary to know the big fella has nine goals to his name (albeit playing an extra game) already. Having seen his Strava activity in the off-season, if he continues to play this well there might be a Maskell heading his way and rightly so given, at his best, he is easily the competition’s best player. Defenders beware at your peril!
On that note, let’s hope kinder weather this weekend gives clubs the chance to showcase their games a lot better and allows for greater spectacles across the board. After all it’s the least we deserve in April given the colder, wetter months are still to come.