GISBORNE coach Rod Sharp is confident his young side will learn the lessons of last week as it fights to keep its Bendigo Football League season alive in Sunday’s first semi-final against Golden Square at the QEO.
Gisborne used up its double chance last Sunday when beaten by 42 points by Sandhurst in the qualifying final in what was a game where the Dragons got a run-on and kicked eight goals to two in the final term.
“We’ve got a lot of young players in our side - five who are still eligible for under-18s and another four who are under 19 - and from what I’ve seen through the year, when sides have done things to us, it has taken a game to adjust,” Sharp said on Friday.
“Instead of making a move or two here or there during the game, it has taken for the game to be reviewed to learn from it and then the week after when it happens again, those younger guys adjust immediately and get better at it.
“I’m hoping what they learn from last week is they know they are going to have to stay in the game for four quarters with their concentration to get the job done.
“You might think that sounds simple, but they are young guys... how were your concentration levels when you were 17 and 18?
“I’m confident they will adjust like they have all year and that if Golden Square at some stage gets a run-on like Sandhurst did in the last quarter, we will handle it better this time.”
The Bulldogs have a major inclusion with the return of Tom Waters from suspension, with Sharp confident the star ruckman is on the cusp of taking a game apart.
Respected rivals Gisborne and Golden Square have won 10 of the past 13 premierships between them, and since 2001, at least one of the two clubs has played in every grand final.
I. Trickey T. Walsh C. Medica
S. Comerford H. Simpson H. Govan
J. Bain C. Summerfield R. Paterson
T. Crosbie B. Sonogan T. May
E. Minns J. Lynch P. McKenna
T. Waters S. Greetham J. Govan
Interchange: (from) A. Belcher, S. Walsh, R. Sharp, O. Messaoudi, A. Headberry