Sunday 5 September 2010

Labrador coach Jarrod Field could only marvel at the heart of his player group after the Tigers’ euphoric second semi-final win today.

The Tigers rooms were packed out the door as their success-starved supporters reveled in knowing they were headed to the grand final, and on the back of a magnificent come-from-behind win over an outstanding challenger.

Field admitted even he had his doubts as to whether his side could conjure up enough goals to win after trailing by 23 points at the last change in solid rain.

Shane Paterson’s first goal inside 30 seconds, courtesy of some great rockwork by Peter Everitt, was vital according to Field. 

“The first one was critical. If it goes the other way, heads drop and you’re gone, I reckon,” he said. “We were able to get two or three and then we hit the front 18 or 20 minutes in.

“It could have been one of those races where you hit the front at the hundred and get run down again.

“That happened to us in Darwin – we got in front and they came again.”

Field admitted the haunting thoughts of Round 7 at the same venue came into play, when Morningside had chased down Labrador after the Tigers went too defensive.

“…We were sort of tossing it up but said in these conditions we still needed to slow it down and kick up the line,” he said.

“We were able to hold them off. (Steve) Wrigley and Shatts (Aaron Shattock) were able to take a few marks in the last couple of minutes and steady things down.”

Field refused to single out any one individual as being a catalyst for the final term onslaught.

“I think we lifted across the board, we restructured and went a bit smaller. It was one of things where nothing really went right in the third quarter but everything went right in the last,” he said.

“The momentum swung and we rode the wave until we got in front.

“They just don’t lay down Morningside and you are never safe. We’re rapt with today, we’re rapt to be there (in the grand final), but we’re not getting carried away.”

Morningside coach John Blair was aware the Tigers would make a run at his side in the critical last quarter.

“We expected them to come, they’ve come hard at us each time (we have played them this season), Blair said. “The breeze was still worth one or two goals at that end.

“In a game like this where yardage is important they probably still had a little bit and they got the momentum. They were good.”

Morningside’s conversion in front of goal should have had them further in front at the last change, with four bad misses in the first half coupled with 4.7 in the third term proving fatal.

“You keep hearing it week in and week out with Collingwood and Geelong – historically we’re that way a little bit ourselves.

“We keep hurting ourselves – we generate plenty of shots on goal but don’t always kick the ones we should kick.”

Blair was taking little comfort from the fact that all three clashes between the Tigers and Panthers have been in the balance until late in the game if his side gets another crack in the grand final.

“I’m not thinking of playing Labrador at all – from here all our thoughts are on Southport and what we have to do to win that game and stay in the competition,” he said of Sunday’s preliminary final against the Sharks at Coorparoo.

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