VFL: Roosters take sting out of the Scorpions



A CALL to believe has once again rallied North Ballarat Roosters to a powerful final term and comeback victory in the wet.

This is the second consecutive week the Selkirk Roosters have pulled off an unlikely win in the Victorian Football League - and a six-point win against Casey made the Scorpions their fifth scalp in a row.

Casey was stronger and seemingly swarming about in packs early against the Roosters at Eureka Stadium on Saturday.

The Roosters, coming off a shock upset of reigning premier Box Hill seven days earlier, were unsettled.

They were forced to claw back from almost five goals down, from 20 minutes into the second quarter, to a 20-point win.

It took the Roosters four majors and a goalless Scorpions in the final term to secure it.

Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said he was a bit concerned that coming off the Box Hill win may have taken a toll early - but that was a hard factor to determine.

"We were coming off cloud nine but in this competition, you need to be not just at your best each week but your best each quarter," FitzGerald said.

"It's hard to know exactly how good the opposition was at the start of the game - their use of the ball was much better than us and I thought we were too slow to adapt."

Two goals in time-on in the second quarter gave the Roosters some bite and set up an even third term.

It came at a price with North Melbourne-listed midfielder Ben Jacobs, who had been among the Roosters' best, benched from half-time with an ankle injury.

The Roosters changed up structures, using a spare player behind the ball and another forward of the ball.

Players responded and gradually momentum began to swing. A James Keeble goal from a 50-metre penalty that took him to the top of the goal square, put the Roosters within two straight kicks at the final break.

FitzGerald reminded his huddle what happened a week earlier, a big final term against Box Hill. Once again, it came down to belief.

Everything clicked.

Imposing ruck Eric Wallace marked the ball and played on - no Scorpion game enough to stop him - to snatch the Roosters the lead half-way through the quarter and they kept powering.

The Roosters had 18 scoring shots at goal to the Scorpions' five through the second half.

Onballer Nick Rippon made 34 disposals, seven clearances and 10 tackles in a best-on-ground performance and his best all-round performance, attacking and defensively, for the season.

Roosters Nick Peters (28 disposals, 11 clearances, eight tackles) and Trent Dumont (32 disposals, nine clearances, six tackles) continued their strong form from the Box Hill game.

Kangaroos-listed defender Max Warren will be monitored this week with Jacobs.

Warren was benched in the last quarter with a badly corked leg.

The Roosters are back at Eureka Stadium on Sunday to host Richmond.