Down by four goals, star player Jaye Bowden watching on from the sidelines and the team seemingly out of the contest, Glenorchy entered the three-quarter-time break in Saturday’s Qualifying Final with a sense of optimism and belief.
“At the break PK (coach Paul Kennedy) asked if we believed in ourselves,” Magpie ruckman Cameron Duffy said on Monday.
This question, answered with a resounding yes by the playing group, was backed by a statistic from the coach that gave an undermanned playing group plenty of confidence.
“PK came with an interesting stat during the break.
“We had outscored them [Launceston] in last quarters 14 goals to four this year, so we knew that we were going to run over the top of them,” Duffy said.
And run over the top the Magpies did, with Duffy’s side booting six unanswered goals in the final stanza to turn a rather daunting deficit into a stunning 14-point triumph.
“If we believed in ourselves, believed in each other and all played our individual roles, we would come out with the chocolates so it was good.
“That was one of the best wins I have been involved in at the club, probably second to that Grand Final win [in 2016].
“You couldn’t really write a script for that win – it was a good win by the boys, a real team effort.”
Duffy, who continued his strong 2018 form with another good performance, was full of praise for the versatility and resilience of a side that was missing the likes of Zac Webster, Matthew Joseph, Clinton French on top of Bowden, who went down in the opening term.
“It’s good, it proves that we a heap of players that can kick goals and that we don’t need to rely just on Jaye.
“Brodie Rowbottom came into the side and kicked four, Will Atkin [played his role] and Daniel Joseph coming off the half back line kicked the sealer in the end, so we have lots of players who can kick goals.
“There is real competition for spots, which is a good problem to have with selection headaches coming into this weekend.”
Rowbottom proved to be the firestarter for the Magpies and has gone a long way to securing his spot in the team for this finals series.
“Brodie has been doing all the right things around the clubs, doing extra sessions and extra running sessions off his own back,” Duffy said.
“It is a real credit to him, he came in, kicked four goals and was one of the players of the game.”
Glenorchy now face the challenge of meeting North Launceston in Saturday’s Semi Final, with automatic qualification for the Grand Final the victor’s reward.
The Northern Bombers, coming off the week one finals bye, will be playing just their second match since early August, and although they have been the pacesetter for nearly two full seasons now, Duffy knows that his side has what it takes to cause a boil-over.
“It’s well known, even in the AFL,that some clubs come in flat off the bye, so we will definitely be using that momentum from the win on Saturday coming into the big challenge of North Launceston.
“We know what to expect from them, they are a well-drilled and well-trained side, but the belief in the group is that we can go up there and get the job done,” Duffy said.
“They are a great outfit, there is no doubt about that, but anyone is beatable on their day.”