VFL: Roosters bury the Tigers

ACCOUNTABLE actions is a pillar North Ballarat Roosters want to embody this season.

Selkirk Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said it was the backbone to a 60-point win against Richmond at Eureka Stadium on Sunday.

This was demonstrated earlier in the week when North Melbourne rookie Max Warren, determined to play in this Victorian Football League clash, spent four hours icing and stretching – alternating between half-hour sessions of each – at Port Melbourne.

The defender had sustained a badly corked hip in last week’s game and he played well against the Tigers.

Accountable actions, reiterated by on-field leaders, allowed the Roosters to break free of the persistent Tigers, prowling close by waiting to pounce on the lead all game.

The Roosters flipped their own inaccuracy into sharp scoring to bury the Tigers in a 10-goal to two final term. 

It was a stark contrast to the 8.13 they had kicked in the first three quarters.

In the final minute, the Roosters quickly moved the ball up forward via 10 marks to defender Liam Hoy, who celebrated a rare goaling chance.

FitzGerald said it all comes back to the accountable actions his team set in the pre-season.

The Roosters held a seven-point lead at quarter-time, were up eight points at the half from eight more scoring shots, and nine points up at the final break.

Richmond was never far away.

“They were a bit like their AFL team on Friday night against Sydney – they weren’t converting their possessions into many inside-50s but when they did go down there, they were very efficient,” FitzGerald said.

“Their accuracy kept them in the game. Our inaccuracy hurt us, but in our last quarter we completely turned that on its head.”

Roosters’ fitness outclassed a tired-looking Tigers in the final term and powered the Roosters to a sixth consecutive win.

Nick Rippon and Liam Anthony amassed 32 possessions each and six tackles apiece.

Nick Couch and Nick Peters also played starring roles with four-goal hauls – Peters booted his before the final break, Couch polished his off with two goals in the final term.

James Keeble also added forward pressure and was rewarded with two goals.

Roosters captain Micahel Searl made a steady start back from surgery on a broken hand, moving where needed up forward, behind the ball and in the ruck.

Interestingly, Roosters ruckman Eric Wallace took a couple of strong grabs and kicked a goal in a fascinating duel with former Roosters ruckman Orren Stephenson, who won the individual tap against the American, 38-31.

The Roosters are set to go back to where their six-game winning streak started, facing Footscray – only this time at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium – on Saturday.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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