WARRNAMBOOL proved itself as a wet weather specialist when it trampled Koroit by four goals on Saturday, which should hold the new ladder-leader in good stead against Terang Mortlake this weekend.
The 10.12 (72) to 6.10 (46) difference was almost complimentary for the lacklustre Koroit outfit, exposed when the rain bucketed down in the third term of the round nine Hampden league encounter.
Visiting side Warrnambool powered across the heavy Victoria Park terrain, struggling with accuracy in the blustery conditions but restricting the Saints to two goals until the fourth term along the way.
Blues coach Scott Carter said his group was likely to encounter similar conditions this weekend at Terang.
“It was a pretty tough day for footy but I thought 21 players all played their role for the side and at the end of the day we wore Koroit down,” he said.
“We don’t dislike wet conditions.
“We think we’ve got a lot of guys who are pretty strong in contested footy and when it did start to rain I thought we got in first to the footy.
“I would imagine it will be similar conditions against Terang as what we had (on Saturday).
“So it will be a tough game.”
As well as the victory, Warrnambool celebrated the anticipated return of young ball magnet Damien McCorkell.
In his first game back since last year’s grand final, the onballer worked hard to make up for lost time.
McCorkell was never far from the Sherrin as he put forward a convincing case for best-on-ground honours.
“It was really good to have Damien back,” Carter said.
“It was his first game back this year from a shoulder injury.
“He was our best player.”
Warrnambool won the toss and kicked to the east end in the first and third quarters.
The host recorded the first behind and the first goal of the game within three minutes before Travis Graham opened the Blues’ account.
Koroit teenager Levi Nagorcka was in the thick of the action, as was Joe McLaren, Ben Dobson and Karl Dwyer.
Traditional Blues backman Paul Looney pushed up the ground and nailed a snap at goal, while forward Jason Rowan notched three behinds before taking a striding mark and kicking truly. Warrnambool led 3.3 (21) to 1.3 (9) at quarter-time.
The play swung back and forth between the 50-metre arcs in the second term, with Koroit using the centre corridor and Warrnambool opting for the wings.
At half-time the Blues led 3.4 (22) to 2.6 (18).
Players left the sun-washed park and returned to persistent rain and ominous grey clouds rolling in from the west.
The Saints all but surrendered to the heavens.
Meanwhile, Warrnambool rose to the challenge and flooded forward for the majority of the third term, converting off a flurry of free kicks and booting five goals to none, including a well-celebrated Angus Chirnside snap at long-range from the boundary.
All the Saints could manage was a rushed behind.
Koroit made the most of the scoring end in the final term but the damage had been done.
“Josh Walters was very good and Jason Rowan kicked five on a wet day,” Carter said.
“But overall it was just a good team effort.
“To come to Koroit, take the four points and walk away injury-free, you’ve got to be happy with that.”
Koroit coach Chris McLaren said the Saints’ effort, particularly in the third quarter, let them down.
“When we’re bad, we’re really bad,” he said.
“We really need to close that gap between our good footy and when we’re off.”