Team effort needed for underdogs to triumph
Saturday, 13th September, 2014
By Ethan James
It may sound simple, but North coach Mark Pitt has emphasised the need for a concerted team effort in this afternoon’s grand final.
“South have been the most consistent side this year and deserve the tag of favourites,” he said at the team’s final training run.
“We can’t go in expecting just a few guys to get us there, we need to go in with every single member of 22 to contribute and do their bit.
“That’s what will get us over the line.”
A dogged effort in defence was the key for North in their preliminary final win against West.
The Bulldogs held the Robins to a scoreless first half, with the side’s back men seemingly shutting down every attacking raid.
“Our first half was really good, with our intensity and hunger for the footy,” Bulldogs defender Mat Garrick said.
“The backline was super in the first half and all through the game really.
“Hacky did a great job back there in the first and (Matt) Dempster did an awesome job on Martin.
“He sort of killed anything along the centre back line.”
However, Pitt said it was “mixed emotions” in the sheds after the game.
“I can never question the boys’ commitment and dedication but to be honest we made hard work of getting that inside ball,” he said, adding his side can ill-afford to be sloppy with the ball today.
“There were some mistakes that let us down last Saturday which resulted in a scrappy game of football.
“Our key is to pressure the ball carrier and make sure we’ve got options on the outside.”
But the Dogs have simply found a way to win in recent years.
The club’s five goal final quarter comeback in 2012 proof that is isn’t over until the final hooter sounds.
“These boys are great mates and are a massive part of the North footy club culture,” Pitt said.
“I’m sure we’ll give it one hundred per cent.”