IT WAS a valiant effort from the Echuca Moama Rockets on Sunday during the third round of the CVGT Australia Northern Conference.
Shepparton hosted the weekend’s carnival at Kialla Recreation Reserve and although it wasn’t the Rockets day on the scoreboard there were still plenty of positives.
Hannah Hunt was outstanding in the back pocket during the first round against GV Stars.
Rory Priddle, who coached on the day, said she had come a long way since starting out two years ago.
‘‘She stopped more balls than any of the boys,’’ he said.
‘‘She was our best player in the game against Shepparton and really ran hard to get a lot of the ball.
‘‘All the girls really stood up and are starting to become a part of the team.
‘‘They’re not just a number out there, they’re getting involved and having an influence on the game.’’
The Rockets went down 21-44, with goals going to Katrina Delaney and Jeff Kinvig.
Their second game saw them up against the days eventual winners Wodonga who kicked eight goals in the 55-13 victory.
With several Victoria Country representatives in the side, the Jets were always going to be a tough ask for the Rockets who have just started to come together as a team.
Jordan Betts managed to kick two goals in the game, but it was Dylan McGregor who impressed the coach with his communication and running ability.
‘‘He had a lot of energy throughout the day and was giving everyone thumbs up,’’ Priddle said.
‘‘It really made my day as coach to see him running in the warm up — it was a massive improvement from where he started and he impressed a lot of parents on the sideline.
‘‘The whole team is starting to show a lot of camaraderie and are building some pretty strong friendships outside of footy.
‘‘I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see the smiles on their faces.’’
The sides final match against Wangaratta saw the team go down 58-7, Krystelle kicking the only goal, but Priddle said it was a small victory each time one the players tried something knew.
Whether it was McGregor running hard, Tyler Wilson working on a new skill to get the ball or high fiving one of his teammates or Nathan Dri stepping up to mark the footy with the use of one arm.
‘‘At the end of the day, win or lose, it’s only a game,’’ Priddle said.
‘‘We’ve got the next carnival in Wangaratta which we’re hoping will lead to even more improvement in the side.
‘‘Every time we go away the team is getting better and better and trying different positions and changes.’’