PROMOTED Roosters Michael Powell and Tom Carey were thrown deep into battle on Sunday.
Both were needed to help fill the gap left by injured captain Michael Searl, who is expected to miss about a month of Victorian Football League action with a broken hand.
Well in control of play against Bendigo, on the way to a 94-point win in Swan Hill, the Selkirk Roosters could use the match to settle both in, particularly with a clash against dominant reigning premier Box Hill looming after the state game bye.
Powell, added to the Roosters list this week, booted three goals and impressed with his leg speed.
Carey, who was playing as 23rd man, offered ruck support to Eric Wallace and together they obliterated Bendigo in the tap.
Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said that moving Carey, a solid defender, through the ruck helped to keep the forward lines steady.
This freed up Jordan Staley, a part-time ruck option, to reinforce the forward lines, and versatile tall Bryce Curnow to make a big impact up forward, booting five goals.
After missing last round with a virus, Ben Jacobs tore apart the game.
The North Melbourne-listed Jacobs amassed 42 disposals (14 in the second quarter), four goals, 10 marks, 14 clearances and six tackles. He played on the ball the whole game, running strongly through the middle and delivering the ball quickly up forward.
FitzGerald was impressed with how his team, particularly developing players, kept their intensity despite clearly overpowering Bendigo from the outset.
“I was pleased with how the boys maintained pressure regardless of the scoreboard,” FitzGerald said. “We’re going inside our forward-50 more for the number of possessions ... that’s a really good sign because we’ve been working on penetrating the game more.”
Travelling emergency David Peel seized his chance to play when North Melbourne-listed defender Mitch Wilkins was ruled out on game day when still struggling a little from a heavy shoulder knock he sustained in play last week.
Victory on the road in Swan Hill takes the Roosters to three consecutive wins before the bye and ninth spot on the ladder.
The win was particularly special for acting captain Luke Kiel, who led the team for the first time in his hometown and served up an exciting, strong rebounding game in defence.