A RENEWED challenge is set — North Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald has called on his players to rebound strong in a bid to crack 'The Streak'.
FitzGerald says Port Melbourne's winning streak has to break some time and has rallied his players to try and snap Port's history-making charge next week.
The Selkirk Roosters were disappointed by a 52-point loss to Williamstown at home on Saturday, not helped in a fourth quarter blow-out.
But FitzGerald said there was a lot of positive signs in the match.
Port Melbourne at North Port Oval is the ultimate test for his players in their rebound.
'The Streak' is out to 25 consecutive victories.
Port nabbed its latest scalp yesterday at Box Hill, a week after beating the VFL/VFA record of 23-straight wins set by Preston in 1984-85.
FitzGerald said there was no reason why North Ballarat could not halt the 'Borough's impressive reign.
"No-one has beaten Port Melbourne in 20-odd matches and at home their record is phenomenal but someone is going to beat them at home eventually," FitzGerald said.
"If we play well enough for a long enough and get on a roll we can win.
"In the real arm wrestle matches, like against Williamstown, we need to persist in staying in the contest."
The reigning premier has been far from infallible this season.
Frankston rattled the 'Borough in round one — the Dolphins were three goals up at quarter-time, one-point up at half-time and eight points down at the final break before Port broke free to win by seven goals.
Bendigo had Port under the pump last round — the Bombers held a two-point lead at three-quarter time before Port staged a 28-point comeback to claim history.
FitzGerald said it was his team's chance to rise to the challenge after a one-win, three-loss start to the season.
The first phase of the Roosters' season was always going to be tough.
So far, Eureka Stadium has not been the fortress they had hoped after losing three matches at home to early flag favourite Werribee, traditional strong starter Sandringham and grand finalist Williamstown.
The Roosters sole win was a formidable road trip to face Collingwood at Victoria Park.
Port is next and the Roosters must still meet Casey at Casey Fields before they can regroup in a bye round.
"We must continue to learn and keep remembering what makes us a good side," FitzGerald said.
"We must continue to look at how we play and make sure we have quality disposals when we have the ball and, when we haven't got the ball, limit the opposition."