Young Roosters strut their stuff

Hamilton Kangaroos forward Hugh Douglas climbs above South’s Zacc Struth.

Hamilton Kangaroos forward Hugh Douglas climbs above South’s Zacc Struth.

BELIEF is building at South Warrnambool.

The Roosters enter the Hampden league bye brimming with confidence after celebrating their second win in three weeks on Saturday.

South Warrnambool recorded a come-from-behind win against Hamilton Kangaroos at Friendly Societies’ Park.

Roosters coach Matt Monk credited his inexperienced side’s fitness for the 14.15 (99) to 13.14 (92) win.

“We have a very good belief in our fitness,” he said.

“Without looking closely, our second halves have been competitive.

“We were confident if we were in the mix at half-time that we’d be a chance.”

Hamilton Kangaroos were wasteful in the second term, kicking 3.7 to the Roosters’ 4.0, and clung to a 10-point lead at half-time.

Enigmatic forward Robbie Gregg kicked a goal after the half-time siren to give the Roosters the momentum going into the break.

South Warrnambool capitalised on that energy and produced a six-goal third term.

It took a 12-point lead into three-quarter-time and kept the Kangaroos at bay in the fourth quarter despite “a couple of anxious moments”.

Monk said it was an encouraging result after a disappointing showing against Port Fairy the week before.

“Suddenly we have won twice as many games as last year and there is momentum there,” he said.

“We still think there are games in the second round where we can certainly plot and learn from (our first match-ups) and turn the tables.

“I think the Port Fairy game will haunt us a bit because we got things wrong in a few areas.

“We as a coaching panel learnt a lot. Brad Miller and Danny Finn, now he’s retired, are a strong part of the match committee, along with Jeremy Mitchem.

“We put strong structures in place this week.”

Monk said Zacc Struth’s negating role on Kangaroos ball magnet Brad Thomas — a four-goal contributor — and Kym Eagleson’s steadying influence in defence were integral to the result.

“Thomas got away in the first quarter but Struthy and I identified at quarter-time that he was doing a lot of damage forward,” he said.

“It was a very disciplined game, probably the best game Struthy has played for us all year.

“(With Kym) a few questioned his selection down there but we were confident.

“We all know he had a great set of hand and he was crucial, reading the play well but also with his leadership.”

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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