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Backs "stepped up" after losses to key personnel: Rohde

Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 8:49 AM by Matt Paddick

Over the years, playing a role has been an aspect of Subiaco defender Drew Rohde's game.

A solid backman who can play tall or small, the 28-year-old is part of a formidable back six that has stopped some of the best attacks in the competition over the years.

While there are new names among the Lions' defence, he said the systems in place at the club have helped keep their backline competitive.

"We've had a bit of turnover this year, and everyone who's coming in has just played their role as required," Rohde told Subiacofc.com.au.

"Having a uniform system across reserves and league means everyone coming in has played the role before, albeit at a different level."

Since joining the Lions ahead of the 2018 season, Rohde has become a key cog in defence, alongside fellow Premiership players in Angus Dewar, Aaron Heal, Hayden Kennedy, and Jordan Lockyer.

However, he said the backline needed to fill the void left by the latter two.

"Locks (Jordan Lockyer) is a massive loss, he's such a big leader for us on and off the field," Rohde said.

"Hayden Kennedy as well has been a massive loss for us in terms of that leadership.

"The boys have stepped up to fill the void, and everyone's growing in that each week."

The 116-game veteran praised the work of Lachie Henderson and Galen Savigni, saying they've bought into the system.

Rohde himself is having a season to remember.

10 years after he first played League football with West Perth, the stats suggest he's having a career-best season, averaging over 17 disposals and nearly six marks per game.

However, the backman reassured there was more to the role than just the numbers.

"It's more about the little things for defenders," he said.

"Setting your teammates up and bringing them into the play makes us tick as a backline.

"It's nice to get on the end of a few statistically, but I try not to read too much into it."

Rohde's time at the Lions has been full of success, with three League Premierships since 2018.

He said the culture played a big role in the team's success over the years.

"Once you get into the inner sanctum and experience the culture, you see it's second to none," Rohde said.

"It's a complete buy-in which is what makes the club special and has made us so successful.

"Everyone's on the same page and is working towards a common goal, which makes it such a special place."

With the Lions sitting in seventh, their game against Swan Districts could pave the way for Subiaco for the rest of the season.

Rohde said the match could have a finals-like intensity.

"If we can bank four points this week and go five-five heading into the bye, we'd take that after a zero-three start," he said.

"We're probably vying for a couple of those last finals spots.

"Given positions on the ladder, I think they'd probably build it up as a bit of a finals-like game as well."