North Ballarat Roosters came agonisingly close to scoring its first victory of the VFL season after storming home against Werribee on Saturday.
As Majak Daw kicked the opening goal of the final term, the Tigers lead had been extended to 29 points. But the home side fought hard to finish strongly with the breeze and get within five points with minutes remaining, only to go down 10.12 (72) to 9.13 (67).
North Ballarat’s inaccuracy and execution around the ground let it down in the early stages as a more accomplished Werribee outfit looked to be comfortably holding a determined Roosters at bay.
But once North Ballarat got going in the final quarter – it all began to click. Quick ball movement, run and carry through the corridor, slicing through the Werribee zone with slick hands and sharp foot skills. Perhaps if the Roosters boasted similar tall timber in attack to Werribee it would have overrun the Tigers.
But the Roosters were left to accept a gallant defeat instead of what would’ve been a memorable victory.
Coach Marc Greig was pleased with the performance, but equally baffled at the how the same side produced such a shocking performance seven days earlier.
“From last week to this week, I’m thrilled with the effort and the game, but as a coach it’s that one that we could’ve got to get the season rolling,” Greig said.
“It’s a good feeling when you’re in the game – there’s some excitement on the ground and there’s genuine belief.
“We’ll make mistakes moving it fast, but we’ve been making mistakes moving it slow. There’s been no change in that, we just harped on the quicker movement a bit more during the week.”
Greig said there was still plenty of areas to tighten up on as well as getting the group to play the brand of football it has late in matches from the start.
“We played some good footy early and didn’t get the reward that we needed to put some heat on the opposition. There’s still so many little errors...we’ve got to keep getting better in all areas. We’ve got to keep trying to unlock what gets these blokes going at the start of the game.”