“WE were terrible.” The words flowed too easily from the lips of Dennington coach Ben Parkinson as he cast his mind back a fortnight.
The Dogs had every chance to make a statement about their Warrnambool and District league flag credentials in front of a big Sunday crowd.
But a day full of optimism finished with a 48-point defeat to resurgent Old Collegians at Davidson Oval. The Warriors, simply, had run riot.
Parkinson said he’d organised to have the match filmed. The replay showed a worrying lack of work rate and intensity around the ball.
“The video has been really good to watch, getting beaten the way we did,” he said.
“You can talk until the cows come home and tell blokes what they’re doing wrong and right. But when it’s on the telly in front of them and you can stop and pause and rewind and play it back to them, hopefully it sinks in.”
A shot at redemption and an opportunity to end a two-game losing streak arrives in the form of Kolora-Noorat at Dennington today.
The Dogs regain key players Chris Vickery, Dustin McCorkell, Jacob Morris and Jordan Green among six changes to the side.
Nick Short (unavailable) and Geoff Keane (groin) are the only enforced changes, a promising sign for an under-performing side.
Parkinson said defeats to Merrivale and Panmure, along with the Warriors, had heightened the importance of beating the Power.
“They’ll be a little bit different (than in previous years) but I imagine the pattern of ball movement is similar to the last few years,” he said.
Kolora-Noorat coach Ben Kenna said the Power was waiting on the fitness of a couple of players before finalising its side.
Kenna said the break for interleague had come at a good time for his side and predicted a testing match today.
“They’re a good side. Down at Dennington, it’ll be a hard game for us. They’ve got a fairly good array of options. Their side looks fairly strong,” he said.
“We’re just coming along, we’re developing a bit each week. We’re getting familiar with each other as the season progresses, people are improving.”
A win looms as critical for the two sides’ finals chances, particularly considering the form of Panmure, Merrivale, Allansford and Old Collegians.
Both have also had comparatively easier starts to the season, with major tests to come in the next month.
“Whichever side can dictate and put that scoreboard pressure on (will have a good chance to win),” Kenna said.