THERE are outstanding victories during a home-and-away season that prove the making of a team.
There are also outstanding victories that are great moments for a club but don’t ultimately lead anywhere.
It’s usually difficult to tell which is which without the benefit of hindsight.
On Saturday East Point defeated Sunbury, while Sebastopol crushed Melton.
Success for East Point and Sebastopol represent two different things. What the two coaches have in common is the job of making sure those two excellent results on Saturday lead to further success.
“It gives us confidence and we believe we can beat any side when we play at our best,” East Point coach Dan Jordan says.
“It is a huge step in terms of showing the maturity to keep your cool and not panic.
“Having said that it’s just four points and we have to focus on next week. We have an important three games before the bye. Three wins would set us up for hopefully a finish towards the top of the six.”
Sebastopol coach Shawne Dummett also addressed his players after the game. The address had some similarities.
“We have to back it up next week,” Dummett says. “It is important that it doesn’t become just a one-off.”
If a timely victory can prove the making of a side, then perhaps a timely defeat can too.
Sunbury has a history of cruising through the home and away season and then striking its first obstacle during a final. That is no longer the case this year.
Among the negatives for the Lions, Cameron McCabe cracked his ribs and injured his knee in the second quarter after being tackled. He was taken to hospital and is likely to miss a month or more. Jamie Lobb hobbled off the ground with a back injury after being slung off a kick and may miss a week.
Ross Sleight has since accepted a one week penalty for a late hit during a marking contest while Tim Hill is likely to contest a one week ban for attempting to strike a player.
But there could yet prove a positive for Sunbury heading into the second half of the season: a bit of awareness.
“East Point was really good but for us it is a wake up call. The word “complacency” is probably right,” Sunbury coach Rick Horwood says.
“Last year we got that wake-up call in the finals, this time we get it in round eight. You never want to lose a game but maybe it’s not a bad thing.
“On Saturday one team came out to play. When the guys heard that Dan Jordan was out and Sam Kitchin who was one of their best the previous week, maybe they just thought we’d turn up and get the four points.
“What it is shows that the competition is so even if you do not come mentally switched on you will get bitten.”