Report: JEFF STEPHENSON
MATTHEW Hammelmann announced his intentions when he kicked his season off to a flyer with a powerhouse five-goal display against Southport at Scottsdale Park in an otherwise disappointing start to season 2018 for the Bombers.
While pleased with his own input, Matt suggested the Bombers needed to apply more pressure and for longer as they chart there way through this NEAFL season.
He thought the opening 30 minutes of the match was played on Redland’s terms.
“We played really well in the first quarter and the pressure was always on them and they struggled to get the ball out,” Matt said.
The former Brisbane Lions forward and occasional defender liked what he saw for most of the match and suggested things might have turned out differently had not a few things occurred during the first half.
“They got goals from a couple of 50-metre penalties in the second quarter.
“Had that not have happened there could have been a four-goal difference at half-time.
“Who knows – that might have been enough.”
Matt also suggested the Sharks were able to instigate a “few run-ons” in the third quarter which helped turn the tide and allowed them to run out 22-point winners.
“The main thing when that happens is to find a way quickly to shift the momentum and that means pressure.
“They were able to run the ball out too easily.
“They like to make it an uncontested game, we needed to put a bit more pressure on them and get the game back the way we wanted to play.”
But, like all things anew, there is a learning curve and Matt believes the Bombers have plenty of attributes.
‘We’ve really got a lot of experience in the team.
“It’s up to us senior blokes to help the younger guys in the team to learn as quickly as possible.”
Matt didn’t have to think too long about his football future after he was delisted following his three-year stint with the Lions.
Having worked under the guidance of coach Leigh Harding as well as having played with several Redland players while at the Academy and at Brisbane, he found it an easy decision to make.
“It made the decision a lot easier as I’d worked a lot with Leigh and I knew many of the players as well.
Adding to that was the fact he’d played one game for the Bombers back in 2014 against Sydney University – but we’ll get back to that later.
Matt made his debut for Brisbane against Richmond on the grand stage that is the MCG.
He played 12 games in total for the Lions and credits a thrilling win “by a couple of points” at the Gabba against Carlton as the match that sticks in his mind as the most enjoyable he played at the elite level.
Although disappointed at being delisted, Matt sees this year at Redland as another opportunity for him.
“I’d like to be drafted again,” he told NEAFL media earlier this year.
“I think Redland has given me a clear pathway to do that, so I’m very excited.”
He believes he has developed his competitive powers dramatically and is desperately keen to continue to bring them into play as this season progresses.
Although the opening match did not bring the desired result, Matt is confident the Bombers will challenge for the finals.
“We’ve got good strengths across all lines.
“It’s now a matter of the forwards kicking a winning score.”
Matt Thomson played well last week and Matt’s partnership with Jackson Paine and Aaron Christensen – among others – will provide the avenue for that eventuating.
This week’s match against Sydney University will provide the Bombers with another test of their pressure and the ability to sustain it for long periods.
The students also love the uncontested game and use passages of handball to break the lines allowing them the opportunity to score quickly.
The Bombers will be hoping to close them down.
Now, about that earlier reference to Sydney University.
Well, that resulted in an exciting victory for Redland.
We’d like to think Matt’s presence and influence will provide the spark needed for the Bombers to bounce back and inflict a similar result.