On May 27, the Ottawa Swans kicked off their Ontario Australian Football League season against their bitter rivals, Toronto Rebels at the Manotick Polo Club.
The game began favourably for the Swans as they took the lead early in the first quarter. With quick transitions and excellent use of space, they managed to get an upper hand on their rivals.
However, that lead was quickly lost in the second quarter as the Rebels managed to push ahead before halftime. The second half had a similar theme, as the Swans equalized in the third quarter and lost the lead again in the fourth. The match ended 27 (4.3) to 49 (7.7) to the Rebels.
In a post-match interview with Club President Yaser Abou Elenein, he spoke positively about the team’s performance, saying “They’re a very good side. We have more training and fitness work to improve on. Our boys fought very hard, with great effort from a lot of our new players”.
When asked about what the Swans did in the first and third quarters to improve their tactics, he explained that with the wind on their back, they found it easier to move the ball up the field and get their forwards involved. An area he wishes to improve on is the defensive end, as the team lost Corey Herrington during the match to a knee injury.
Swans Split In Toronto
The Ottawa Swans’ men’s and women’s teams travelled to Toronto on June 3 to play their respective games. The men’s team faced off against the Toronto Blues in their second game of the season. They looked to bring home the win after stumbling against the Rebels in the previous match. The men won their game 19 (3.1) to 99 (14.15) with outstanding performances from Geoff Coventry, James Clock, and Riley Turpin
Coach Joshua La Porta, credited the players’ success to their resilience and maintaining a simplistic approach to the game. Coach La Porta wanted the new players to ease into the sport and enjoy their game days, saying, “Australian Football can be extremely complex for newcomers due to its dynamic gameplay, so one of our aims is to make it easy and enjoyable for our recruits.” By minimizing tactical instructions and fatigue early in the season, the team relied on their senior players to make strategic decisions in-game.
La Porta was pleased with the team’s performance and looks forward to the upcoming weekend.
The women’s season has started similarly to the men’s team, with a loss to the Demon Blues, 69 (9.15) to 1 (1). However, the result does not accurately reflect how the game played out, as the Swans fought throughout but were unable to convert their chances.
The Demon Blues’ experienced players’ connection throughout the game was difficult to defend and created a formidable challenge for the Swans. Coach Yaser Abou Elenein took responsibility for the team’s weak first-half performance, saying, “I didn’t react quickly enough to get the matchups right, and our backline was under siege in the first half. The team fought admirably, but the sheer number of inside 50s was always going to hurt us.” The second half was much stronger for the Swans; however, the deficit was too significant to overcome with the number of inexperienced players on the team. Coach Yaser wanted to acknowledge Isabel Kleinbub and Angelica Gonzalez for their excellent performance in their first game for the Swans.
If the men’s team is any indication of a trend, we can expect the women’s team to perform better in round two of their season.
Featured Image: The Ottawa Swans men’s team had a big win in Toronto last weekend.