EVERY week, regardless of the opponent or the venue, we prepare the same way.
We do know that derbies probably mean a bit more for our fans – and it’s always nice to win them because of that – but winning on Sunday was important for the players and coaching staff because it is another tick in the “W” column.
We will never lose sight of what it means for our members and supporters and understand their conversations around the coffee machine on Monday morning were a bit more enthusiastic and that’s important.
Internally it’s about getting the job done.
We put a lot of work into planning how we attack each game and it’s so satisfying when it comes together.
The first part of the week is focused on recovery, then we train and by the middle of the week we look to establish the tweaks we will need to make to our game plan to get the result we’re after.
The coaches spend a lot of time analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and that is communicated to the players.
So with so much going into the preparation for every game, it is a great feeling when it comes together.
Against the Dockers, we knew it was going to be a tough game. I’ve played in a lot of derbies and they are always pretty intense. That’s why we like playing in those games so much. In terms of a qualifying game it’s as close as it comes to playing finals footy.
With so many young players in our team, they will only benefit from the intensity of the contest as they continue their education.
We had three first-year players in the winning team, including debutant Jack Petruccelle who had some special moments in the game, but we expect he will grow from the experience.
Winning the game means we have now strung together five in a row after a disappointing round one loss to Sydney and we currently sit in second spot on the ladder.
So we are making good progress towards out first goal.
We keep it pretty simple and it’s about winning as many games as quickly as possible as we strive to play finals.
History suggests you probably need to win 12 games to achieve that target, so it’s a good foundation but we need to keep pushing towards it.