TERANG Mortlake is back in the five for the first time in five rounds but coach Matthew Irving knows staying there is a big challenge.
The Bloods jumped from sixth with a 39-point win over Port Fairy at Mortlake’s D. C. Farran Oval on Saturday. The 11.15 (81) to 6.6 (42) result was Terang Mortlake’s second consecutive victory — the first time it has won back-to-back games since rounds nine and 10 last year.
Irving said the Bloods had new-found self-belief after beating third-placed North Warrnambool Eagles in round 11 by three points.
“We definitely feel like we have some momentum,” he said.
“Port Fairy are still in five contention. To have a win against them and the Eagles, who are third, is pleasing and hopefully we can build something.
“But this time last year we were thereabouts and we started to drop off.”
Irving said the Bloods’ confidence had taken a battering with four consecutive losses between rounds seven and 10 but that had changed.
It didn’t look that way in the first quarter when the Seagulls kept the Bloods goalless and led by two goals at the first break.
“From that point on we probably dominated the game and the scoreboard probably showed that. We really could have won by 10 goals if we had kicked straight.”
Port Fairy coach Sam Rudolph was frustrated with his side’s second consecutive below-expectation performance.
“We had a very good first quarter and our intensity just dropped off,” Rudolph said.
“Our accountability and intensity through the midfield wasn’t there. That was the most disappointing thing. They got players free and we didn’t bother going with them and it was frustrating. A few let everyone else down.”
The Seagulls have injury worries for Sunday’s must-win game against Hamilton Kangaroos, with forward Gary Robinson carrying a suspected hamstring injury and Jaydon Stiles in doubt after finishing the game “groggy”.
The loss dropped the Seagulls from seventh to ninth, although they are just one win behind the fifth-placed Bloods.