VFL: North Ballarat Roosters tipped out of finals | photos

HE S BACK: North Melbourne-listed defender Joel Tippett makes a solid return from a knee injury for the North Ballarat Roosters. 
PICTURES: ARJ GIESE PHOTOGRAPHY 
Defender JOEL TIPPETT, North Ballarat Roosters.

HE S BACK: North Melbourne-listed defender Joel Tippett makes a solid return from a knee injury for the North Ballarat Roosters. PICTURES: ARJ GIESE PHOTOGRAPHY Defender JOEL TIPPETT, North Ballarat Roosters.

Midfielder CHRIS GIAMPAOLO under pressure from Jesse Crichton. 
Photo: Arj Giese Photography

Midfielder CHRIS GIAMPAOLO under pressure from Jesse Crichton. Photo: Arj Giese Photography

TALENTED: Promising young midfielder James Tsitas, left, of North Ballarat Roosters had plenty of bite. 
 
Right: Jesse Crichton puts midfielder Chris Giampaolo under pressure. 
JAMES TSITAS,

TALENTED: Promising young midfielder James Tsitas, left, of North Ballarat Roosters had plenty of bite. Right: Jesse Crichton puts midfielder Chris Giampaolo under pressure. JAMES TSITAS,

Forward BRYCE CURNOW, North Ballarat Roosters 
Photo: Arj Giese Photography

Forward BRYCE CURNOW, North Ballarat Roosters Photo: Arj Giese Photography

THERE was no questioning that North Ballarat Roosters left everything on the field.

They played hard and did a lot right in the final term to try and chip back at Werribee.

But the Tigers had an answer for everything in this Victorian Football League elimination final at North Port Oval on Sunday.

Questions swirled with "what if" possibilities if only the Roosters had kicked back-to-back goals in the fourth, or, if only the Roosters had made more of their chances with a strong breeze in the second.

In the end, when the siren sounded, there were no more chances.

The Selkirk Roosters bowed out of their first VFL finals series since 2011.

Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said there were a lot of great signs.

In particular, he was proud the way his players responded in their attack on the game after a resounding 111-point loss to the competition's best, Port Melbourne, last week.

Werribee just managed to close pivotal points in this game when they counted most.

"We wanted to be in the game early and we were to half-time. Even at three-quarter-time, I still felt we were in it, 26 points down and kicking with a strong wind," FitzGerald said.

"They got the one goal we really needed we kicked the first goal (of the fourth), were 19 points down and they got the next one and could sense victory."

That goal, via Tiger Tom Gribble, sparked big celebrations on the field and from a Tiger pocket in the stands.

The Roosters went back with a major in reply which the Tigers again answered.

This pattern repeated until the Tigers started to pull further away in time-on.

The Roosters had their chances, going inside the forward-50m 12 times to Werribee's four in the final term before the Tigers' late surge.

They had plus-six possessions and went inside-50m twice more than the Tigers overall.

Werribee's back lines were ruthless.

"We weren't quite getting reward for our effort," FitzGerald said.

"We still wanted the ball, just our kicking efficiency let us down, we were giving the ball back too much to the opposition and that's something we've been trying to change all year."

There was plenty of feeling in the game, evident in a scuffle going into the half-time break.

Lachie George was again the Roosters' best, his strong on-field leadership has been a stand-out in the past three tough matches.

George topped the Roosters' individual disposals with 27 touches and he made 12 clearances.

Onball duo Nick Peters (23 disposals, 10 tackles) and Nick Rippon (26 disposals) were persistent.

The Roosters' defence, led down back by Max Warren, Joel Tippett, Tony Lockyer and Oli Tate, was strong.

FitzGerald said the most important thing now was to try and keep as much of the playing group together to improve and go deeper into next season.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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