Reigning GNFL premiers Rovers lay down marker against Chapman Valley at Mazzuchelli Oval

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Rovers' Gabriel Parfitt reaches the ball.
Camera IconRovers' Gabriel Parfitt reaches the ball. Credit: Supplied

Rovers were imposing 26.12 (168) to 7.7 (49) winners over Chapman Valley at Mazzuchelli Oval on Saturday.

The worthy name change from Nabawa Oval recognises the contribution the Mazzuchelli family have made to the Valley.

Rovers coach Ian Comben was happy even though, for the most part, his men were not truly tested.

“It was a good four-quarter effort with a few lapses, but we played well,” Comben said. “Early days, but we’re in the mix for finals.

“We have a similar side to last year and good players in Jamie Koric and Fraser Daly to come in, plus some improving colts, so there are reasons for confidence.”

Rovers drew against Railways in the first round and Comben said his team should have won. “People might say I’m a sourpuss to be upset with a draw, but we had more scoring shots ... bad skills at crucial times cost both of us,” he said.

Rovers, with impressive team play and marking, hit seven unanswered first-term goals, including three to Farren Parfitt, while the Valley only reached their forward 50 twice. Led by Tom Denton, Rovers also dominated the second term, with good finishing from Dwayne Nevill and Jaimon Alone.

The Valley finally notched majors through Jay O’Brien and a long Mitchell Thompson set shot.

The second half was similar, but there were 10-minute patches in each quarter where the Royals rallied with Richard Bartlett and Len Papertalk shining. Chapman Valley’s Mick McConnell showed skills in the ruck and Aaron Joss, Mitchell Caimonos and Kadence Flanagan ran hard. But Rovers never lost control, with Denton as their general.

“Tom Denton won the medal so I can’t go past him,” Comben said.

“Alone was good, Dylan Curley and Ray Taylor in the ruck, Parfitt at centre-half-forward, Joseph Ugle is a great pick-up and evergreen (Anthony) Kyanga were my best.”

Valley took some revenge in the women’s game, holding Rovers scoreless while kicking 16.11 (107).

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