Posted on Thursday 27th June, 2019


At the halfway point of the 2019 season, WRFL Media Manager Kristen Alebakis speaks with all the RAMS Division 1 coaches about how their club is tracking after nine games, what their goals are for the remainder of the year, plus all coaches grade their teams.

“We had a hiccup on Saturday, we were in a position late in the game to win, but we weren’t able to do that. But we are sitting on top after nine rounds in a pretty tight competition, so I am pretty happy,” coach Saade Ghazi said.

“Our Reserves are equal top and the Under 18’s are also on top, so the club is in a good spot.

“We are happy with where we are at, but we have a tough month ahead. We have had a good start, but it is what we do from here.”

Grade: B+

“We are going okay, we have been inconsistent here and there and lost some close games to top sides who could close out games,” coach Anthony Eames said.

“Hopefully the second time around when we play those teams we have learned a few things, but I’m happy at 7-2.

“We have some ground to make up, but that’s okay, we need to keep improving and if we maintain the status quo we will play finals.

“The top six clubs can realistically beat anyone on any given day, the competition is healthy and I am sure everyone is stepping up their programs in the second half of the year.

“We are half a season away from being an A Grade side.”

Grade: B

“We are happy where we sit at the half-way mark, at 7-2 we have given ourselves a platform to attack the second half of the year,” coach Chris Gilham said.

“While happy with our progress we understand how tight the competition is so if we don’t keep improving and playing at our best weekly you can quickly slip out of the five as it looks like one good side is going to miss the finals. Our job is to ensure its not us.

“We are looking forward to the second half of the year and playing the other sides in and around the 5, all of those games will determine who finishes where and the challenge of those head to head match ups where the stakes are big is exciting.”

Grade: B

“We have a 6-3 record which is disappointing given that we have been in a winning position in every game except the Altona clash,” coach Marc Bullen said.

“We haven’t been able to get our best team on the park to date, so with the imminent return of Stewart, J Mackenzie, Byrnes, Wong and continual match fitness for Mills, JPS, Harrison, Barling we expect to improve our overall performance in the second half of the season.

“We must improve defensively across the board and get more from forward line players in the big games.”

Grade: B-

“We are going okay, it has been a steady climb,” coach Perry Meka said.

“We have put in some new stuff to the boys and they are playing to the plan. I am very happy with how things are going, the competition is very close, we beat the top team and dropped a ladder position. We have a hard month coming up, it will define our season.

“We do have some room for improvement.”

Grade: B

“We are in exact same position as we were last season at 6-3,” coach Steve Kretiuk said.

“We have been competitive in every game even against the better sides it has only been a three to four goal buffer, in saying that we have a lot of work to do.

“We have had two key players retire in Jordan Mead and Chris Endres, so its hard to replace those sorts of players, so some younger players will need to raise the bar. The next five weeks will tell the tale.”

Grade: B

“If you would have asked me in Round 4 we would have been happy enough with our efforts, but unfortunately in the past four weeks we have had six long term injuries and the workload has fallen to some really young players, who are doing really well, but it has been hard,” coach Brodie Holland said.

“In the second half of the year we need to pick up our offensive play, we need to execute by hand and by foot. We need to have better efficiency in front of goal because we aren’t a big scoring team, so we need to make the most of our opportunities in critical times in games, particularly when we have the ascendancy.”

Grade: C+

“We have been disappointing with two wins,” coach Adm Contessa said.

“There have been a few games, where we believe we could have won. We have to bounce back in the second half of the season to improve on that win loss ratio.”

Grade: C

“It been harder than we expected (the jump into to Division 1), but it is what it is,” coach Ian Denny said.

“We didn’t come into the season thinking we would be world-beaters, but we have been competitive in general play and I don’t think the scoreboard has really reflected the way we have played.

“In the second half of the year we want to keep developing our players.  In the Reserves, we have a lot of players under the age of 18 and they have won three games, which has been fantastic, so we want to continue to develop those players.”

Grade: F

“I am so proud of this team, they just keep improving every week,” coach Lloyd Balshaw said.

“We have goals each week to restrict the opposition and if we do that it is as good as a victory and the boys walk off the ground happy. Against Altona we restricted them to just three goals in the final quarter, that was a magnificent effort.”

Grade: A