BACK-to-back wins is what the North Ballarat Roosters have wanted all season.
This time, they finally claimed it in a pivotal 26-point win against the Northern Blues at Eureka Stadium yesterday.
While the Carlton-aligned Blues had only posted one win this Victorian Football League season, the Selkirk Roosters were forced to work hard in constantly fending off their rivals.
The Roosters and Blues both returned to the field from a bye round determined to build momentum for the season’s second half.
Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said that importantly, the Roosters met most targets.
“We had a nice spread of goal kickers, 10 altogether, and it was nice to have a good spread kicking goals again,” FitzGerald said.
“We were close to achieving what we wanted defensively — we wanted to contain the opposition to within 80 points and they finished with 85, and we wanted to keep them to less than 50 inside-50s and they got 49.
“It’s still an issue when we come out after half-time, letting the opposition back in the game with quick goals ... but we did arm-wrestle well from the second half of the third quarter onwards.
“We are making progress.”
A strong Blues’ outfit had the edge in the first quarter with faster, cleaner ball movement and piled on its goals in short bursts.
Rooster Cam Richardson goaled on the siren to narrow the margin to seven points at the first break.
Then the Roosters took control.
The Roosters had five unanswered goals on the board by half-way through the quarter and powered on in a seven-goal to three second term.
North Ballarat Rebels’ youngster Will Pomorin, as 23rd man, played a starring role in the blitz with two goals for the quarter and three for the match in his VFL debut.
Pomorin, from South Warrnambool, kicked his first almost 15 minutes in to put the Roosters four goals up.
He claimed his second by marking a Blues’ kick-in.
North Melbourne-listed midfielder Liam Anthony dictated play out of the centre with 19 disposals and seven clearances to half-time.
Midfielder Dean Towers also played a pivotal role with his trademark speedy run-and-carry.
The Blues opened the second half with a goal inside 50 seconds’ play, followed by a second midway through the quarter.
But the Roosters still looked in control, locking down defensive pressure across the ground.
Goals were freer in the fourth but two Aaron Edwards’ majors midway through the term gave the Roosters the three-goal buffer they needed.
In defence, Luke Delaney held tight in the goal square against Carlton-listed tall Bret Thornton who was quiet in a three-goal haul, that included two quick goals early in the match.
Also having Cam Delaney down back allowed the Roosters to move Michael Searl into a ruck support role for Ben Mabon when needed.
FitzGerald said it was a solid team outing with good progress, but the Roosters must keep on building and improving their game.