Footy is rarely as simple as it should be, but win four quarters, and you should be in good stead.
To date, only two teams have won every quarter of a game: Sunbury in its season-opening rout against Darley and Bacchus Marsh against the same opponent in round two.
Melton and Redan came close, both sides winning three quarters but drawing a term in round two and three, respectively.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Dropping a quarter is not the end of the world.
The sweetest wins are often those snatched from the jaws of defeat.
But inconsistency is contagious and let it settle in early, and it may just become a problem when the moment matters.
At its best, East Point is unmatched.
The reigning premiers play a brand of football that demands the best of its opponents, and even then, that's often not good enough to upset the Roos.
However, that brilliance has only appeared in glimpses so far this season.
The Roos have won seven out of a possible 16 quarters. Less than 50 per cent.
Sitting 2-1, East Point is on par with its fellow premiership contenders, but it's the see-sawing manner in which the wins are coming that will be of concern.
The Roos started the season strongly, claiming a margin of +29 in the first half against Sebastopol. In the second half, it dropped to -47.
The opposite happened when Lake Wendouree came to visit in round two.
A -19 margin in the first half was resoundingly corrected to +66 in the second.
Round three offered another scare.
The Roos raced out to a +46 margin at half-time against Sunbury before falling to -33 in the second half.
The hosts were even held to just three points in the final term.
East Point is not alone in its blips this season.
Around 65% per cent of Ballarat's points have been scored in the second half of games.
The Swans are yet to win a first quarter this season, and their tendency to start slow was best exposed by Redan's 42-point rampage during the opening term at the weekend.
Again, the rollercoaster is nothing to stress about with so much of the season still to be played.
That being said, football is a hard enough game as it is without giving your opponents a headstart.
North Ballarat v Sebastopol
at Mars Stadium, Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round six 2019, Sebastopol 7.15 (57) def North Ballarat 3.10 (28)
ROOSTERS (5th, 2 wins, 1 loss): It may sound counter-intuitive, but a loss last weekend may be the best thing for a developing North Ballarat. Brendan McCartney's men had coasted to 2-0 before falling to the Lakers last weekend. Despite that perfect start, there had been unsavoury patches, most notably in defence. The key to victory will rest in the hosts' ability to stay structured and disciplined down back, offering the foundation for their young guns to run riot in attack.
BURRA (4th, 1 win, 1 loss, bye): Football can be a cruel game sometimes. The ecstasy of round one's grand final retribution was immediately soured by a one-point loss in the Burra's next clash. For Sebastopol, the areas of improvement are in their own control. Twice now, the Burra have been guilty of periods of ill-discipline that have swung the momentum of games. Stay level-headed, and Sebastopol's genuine quality should see them home.
Ballarat v Lake Wendouree
at Alfredton Oval, Saturday, 6:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round 5 2019, Ballarat 11.6 (72) def Lake Wendouree 10.12 (72)
SWANS (9th, 1 win, 2 losses): It's a simple fix for Ballarat: improve across four quarters. The Swans have shown glimpses of brilliance but are yet to put together a complete performance. There is little need for external motivation, with the memory of conceding 42 points in the first term last weekend likely to drive players for some time to come. The hosts remain a strong chance against the Lakers but will need their experienced heads to drive the standards.
LAKERS (6th, 1 win, 1 loss, bye): Momentum is often footy's golden word and Lake Wendouree enters round four on an almighty high. Last weekend's win against North Ballarat was an important boost for a group still getting to know each other. The Lakers have backed in their kids and that shapes as pivotal. While youth brings excitement, it can also be tainted with inconsistency. Put on a display like last weekend and the visitors will leave with the points.
PREDICTION: Lake Wendouree
Bacchus Marsh v East Point
at Maddingley Park, Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round 10 2019, East Point 5.8 (38) def Bacchus Marsh 1.6 (12)
COBRAS (7th, 1 win, 2 losses): Chances can be rare, and if you don't capitalise, you face a tough day out. The Cobras' poor output of 1.6 in the first quarter last weekend opened the door for Melton South's win, and life won't be any easier for Tom German's men this time around. You can bet East Point won't be giving the hosts any easy chances, making accuracy in front of goal even more important for the Cobras. It sounds simple but kick straight, and Bacchus Marsh stands a chance.
ROOS (2nd, 2 wins, 1 loss): The Roos' start to the season, though great, will no doubt have frustrated coach Jake Bridges and the club's supporters. While two wins is a good return, it's how the reigning premiers edge home that is of concern. At their best, the Roos are unmatched, but they have been unable to put on their best for more than two quarters at a time. Give Bacchus Marsh a sniff, and they might just regret it.
PREDICTION: East Point
Melton South v Sunbury
at Melton Recreation Reserve, Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round 13 2019, Sunbury 16.14 (110) def Melton South 8.9 (57)
PANTHERS (10th 1 win, 2 losses): Melton South is nearing the top of its game and demanding the competition take notice. The Panthers were rampant last weekend and if they get the same output from their top-tier talent again, are every chance of going into the bye with a 2-2 record. The hosts will need the midfield to fire, with the centre of the park shaping as the key battleground. The Panthers hold the size advantage, but can they counter the smarts of Alik Magin and co?
LIONS (8th, 1 win, 2 losses): Sunbury's class is there, no doubt, but results haven't quite fallen the way of Travis Hodgson's men. The Lions have played one and two on the ladder in the past fortnight and enter round four keen to get back on the board. Melton South may be a lesser side by ladder position, but if the visitors enter the match complacent, they may regret it. A strong showing in the second half against the Roos offers a bit of momentum, but the onus is on the Lions to fire.
Darley v Melton
LAST TIME THEY MET: round four 2019, Melton 12.15 (87) def Darley 9.3 (57)
DEVILS (11th 0 wins, 2 losses, bye): Languishing at 0-2 life doesn't get any easier for the Devils, who welcome the competition's only remaining unbeaten side. The bye will provide a much-needed reset, but may also work against the hosts. Melton is in its stride and on a roll. The Devils' best chance of success rests in their ability to shut down the Bloods' midfield. Make life hard for the ladder-leaders, and the hosts could edge out an upset.
BLOODS (1st, 3 wins, 0 losses): It shapes to be a tick the box type of day for the Bloods, but stranger things have happened. Darley at home is never an easy task. Throw in the uncertainty of footy under floodlights, and what looks to be a sure thing may just turn on its head. A big win would set Melton up for some time to come. A loss may just open the door for its fellow premiership candidates.