The Williamstown Seagulls won their second straight game on Saturday, deafeating the Geelong Cats. The win sees the Towners return to the top of the VFL standings in the process.
1. Momentum – It’s not long ago that the Seagulls couldn’t find themselves on the right end of a two-point game to save themselves. After getting back on the winners list against Coburg, the momentum from that victory played a large part of the success on Saturday afternoon. The Seagulls were in front at every change after the first quarter, and the lessons learned in the close losses against Port Melbourne and Werribee shone through as the side hung on for their most memorable win of the season to date.
2. Tackling pressure – The Seagulls won the tackle count 82-78 but made their biggest contribution in the third quarter where they laid 15 more tackles than the Cats (24-9). This pressure resulted in eight scoring opportunities for the Seagulls, opposed to the five scoring shots had by the Cats. If it wasn’t for the impact of a swirling breeze the visitors would have made greater use of their dominance than the 4.4.(28) they kicked.
3. Loose ball gets – Geelong outmarked Williamstown 76-53 on the day, a stat which in a lot of games would be enough to swing the result. The Seagulls dominated when it came to putting their head over the loose ball and their toughness was rewarded. Jolley, Gallucci, Meese and first gamer Ash Di Ciero all demonstrated a nose for the loose ball, a certain key to victory.
4. Calm in the clutch – After the loss to Port Melbourne I was sitting on the train home, sharing my frustration with a Port Melbourne supporter. Our moods were obviously polar opposites, but in the process of both presenting our cases he said something which will forever stick with me about the loss. At the final change the message from Gary Ayres was to keep the ball as close to the boundary line as they could. On Saturday afternoon what I witnessed in the last quarter from the Seagulls was the same as what I saw from Port Melbourne three weeks prior. With the margin under a goal with minutes remaining (as it had been for the majority of the day) the Seagulls made sure they kept numbers behind the ball and kept the ball near the boundary line. By no means was it the first option, but it was an option if the side thought they were in danger. On reflection, Geelong weren’t given a chance to win it in the last five minutes despite the ball being in their attacking half. Calmness persevered, with four points the ultimate reward.