The Rockingham Redbacks Willow Bridge Cup side made its second and final road trip to Bunbury to play the South West Strikers on Saturday and proved too strong for the hosts, winning 4-2.
The Strikers are a very young side that have been at the top before but are now in a rebuilding phase after being relegated several years ago, play quick attacking hockey that tested the Redbacks in the opening period of the game but the fullbacks Brad Thompson and Brenton Smith combined with keeper Lachlan McDonald held firm. Bryan Taylor, the captain, lead from the front in the midfield and orchestrated may attacks which saw Nick Gerrard and Matt Wells both score with tomahawk goals to make the score 2-0 at half time.
After the break Rockingham dominated the game and had most of the possession and had many shots on goal. Christian Oskam secured the third goal with a drag flick from a short corner. Shaun Ford playing as striker was always dangerous in the circle and was instrumental in winning several short corners which Oskam completed with a goal. Southwest Strikers did get a goal back mid way through the second half but Rockingham were never really threatened at any stage. Oskam sealed the game with a timely deflection to bring up his second goal for the game. In the dying seconds of the game Strikers managed to score their second goal to make the final score line 4-2.
The Redbacks were without their Coach Michael Nobbs, who is currently in India. Michael was announced as the head coach for the Indian National team for the next 5 years during the week. Nobbs who is a former Australian Olympian who had played in the National team from 1977-1985 and for WA 1981-1988 is half way through his third year as coach for Rockingham. The details of this appointment are still to be released but Nobbs and the Rockingham Club are hopeful that he will be able to manage to see out the year as Rockingham’s coach in some capacity. Nobbs is very keen to see the Redbacks promoted to the next level.