Coaches’ Reports – Round 8


This week our birds head down to the Central Coast again, this time to take on last year’s grand finalist, Wyong / Lakes.

After a strong performance last week against City we were full of confidence we could cause an upset. As we knew it would be, the first quarter was really tight. Hard, contested footy was the order of the day as both teams worked tirelessly to gain the upper hand. Our back five were outstanding as Wyong went inside fifty and held it in there. Our mids were great also and worked hard in defence and when the clearances came, we broke hard and our forward structure was much better which allowed our key forwards more space and with that we take a slender lead into the first break.

Cardiff 2 / 2 / 14 to 1 / 2 / 8

Nothing much changed in the second quarter more, good, hard contested footy and we were mixing with them every step of the way. Tayla G was great in the ruck and with limited rotations went toe to toe with Wyong’s two rucks for long periods until Emma was able to be moved out of defence and give Tayla a breather. Our mids were once again outstanding and are stamping themselves as top shelf players in the league.

Half time

Cardiff 2 / 3 / 15 to 2 / 2 / 14

Into the third quarter we go, and we knew Wyong would come at us hard and they did. Two goals in the first five minutes to the home side and they got their nose in front but we hold our nerve and respond with a goal of our own through Hayley , who is proving a massive find for us , they score and we respond again through Abbey C , then they score again and we go in just behind.

Cardiff 4 / 3 / 27. To 6 / 3 / 39

The final term we really showed what character this this team has developed. We just simply wanted it more and this was evident as we had to repel several raids while also maintaining the confidence that we could go forward and score. It was a remarkable finish to a physical game. It was late in the game when Taylah Wilks had a set kick outside fifty and Minerva Bailey made it clear she wanted the ball in her direction and a penetrating kick from Wilksy and Min took the pack mark then went back and slotted the goal that would give enough of a lead for the birds to hang on for the win.

We have been building toward this for a while now and it was definitely our finest victory. It was a victory that came through sheer grit and determination. It was a pleasure to watch.

In a game where everyone contributed across the board we were well served by Matisse, Kate, Allie, Tayla G, Nikki and Shez.


Cardiff: 7.5 – 47

Wyong Lakes: 6.4- 40


Goals: M. Bailey 3, A. Cooksley, M. Twyford, T. Grazules, H. Wright
Best Players: 
M. Coram-Parker, K. Moffatt, A. McRae, T. Grazules, N. Standen, S. Vukovich




Reserve Grade

The Reserve grade boys were back on the highway this weekend, looking to bounce back from a tough loss the previous week. Travelling to Don Small Oval in Wyong, a ground that hasn’t held good memories for the Ressies team in recent years gone by, the boys knew there was no room complacency.

With Cam Jones and Aaron Wivell both getting the call up to firsts, skipper Bleusy and Kieran held down the 2 key positions up forward and were outstanding all day. Kieran pushing his case to be re-tooled as a permanent forward, kicking 6 goals (he’ll tell you the websites incorrect) with exceptional body work on display, out marking his opponent on several occasions. However, the midfield group was in great sync also. Being able to organise themselves early and understanding their roles led to improved skills spotting up our forward options.

Fantastic defensive pressure all across the ground was evident also, keeping the Magpies scoreless for the entire first half, was a huge positive for the boys. The Magpies did hit back in the third, however, kicking 3 goals to our boys 4.

Fourth quarter the Hawks piled on 7 goals while adhering to their structures all day. The boys utilised the switch on numerous occasions and a heavy rotation of players through the midfield allowed for plenty of run and carry throughout the day. Debutant Justin Bell was terrific being thrust into the backline early then being sent forward for a goal in his first game as Hawk.

All up a great four quarter effort from our Ressies and bouncing back beautifully after a tough loss the week before. Ressies will certainly make use of the bye round for the long weekend, then it’s back on the track and preparing for a dangerous game against Singleton.

Well done boys 🦅


Cardiff: 23.11 – 149

Wyong Lakes: 4.5 – 29


Goals:   K. Cowan 4, M. Thorley 4, Z. Moore 3, M. Kozlik 2, A. McGuinness 2, D. Rowett 2, J. Bell 2, H. Thomson, D. Stewart, P. Bleus, C. Wivell

Best Players: A. McGuinness, K. Cowan, J. Drabsch, B. Taylor, H. Thomson, C. Wivell



1st Grade

Inspired by the girls’ come-from-behind victory, our boys came out with the intent and effort needed after a slow start last weekend.

We matched it in the clinches with Wyong Lakes from the outset mostly via the tenacity of veteran Adam Clarke who was equally as polished on the outside with his delivery.

The conditions were slippery on and off throughout the game and our own inaccuracy in front of goal had the Magpies still in the game at half time, so the message was to capitalise on our opportunities and reward the work of those getting the ball forward.

After earlier dislocating his little finger (which coach “Doc” Tomlinson failed at living up to his nickname in trying to get it back in), Marcus DeLeur showed his versatility with a pivotal performance at centre half-back and in the ruck, earning himself the Coach’s Best for the second week running.

After half time, Simon O’Brien and Patty Delaney remained ever-busy emerging from many packs with the footy and Izaac Hughes threatened to break the game open with his high marking and long kicking however our radar was still off kicking one goal five behinds for the quarter.

We peppered the goals in the last quarter as our fitness came to the fore but we still only managed three goals from 11 shots so it turned out vitally important that we had kept them to only one goal after half time which is a positive sign for our defensive attitude.

Again, we finished the game down a man with Jared Campbell injuring his knee early, but Chris Davies stepped into the defensive breach with aplomb thwarting many Magpies raids and rebounding with composure.

Adam Clarke deservedly won the Players’ Player Award and Scott Hawthorne – a late inclusion for the injured Hugh O’Neill – received the Ironbark Hill 1%er Award for his bullocking work around the stoppages to free up his teammates.

With this weekend presenting the last bye for First Grade for the rest of the home and away season, we’ll re-energise physically and re-focus mentally so that we emerge from the winter months in the best possible position to give ourselves a strong final showing.


Cardiff: 11.21 – 87

Wyong Lakes: 6.2 – 38

Goal Scorers: D. Hoy-Maroney 2, I. Hughes 2, B. Job 2, J. Lennon, D. Robson, P. Delaney, S. O’Brien, A. Wivell

Best Players: P. Delaney, A. Clarke, C. Davies, S. O’Brien, B. Job, M. DeLeur



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Game Day Photos courtesy of Geoff Robinson