Hamilton Kangaroos take down another top-four side on home soil

Hamilton Kangaroos coach Jarrod Holt hears the call for a handball as his progress is retarded. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Hamilton Kangaroos coach Jarrod Holt hears the call for a handball as his progress is retarded. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

HAMILTON Kangaroos coach Jarrod Holt isn’t fussed with his side’s growing reputation as a home-ground specialist after taking down yet another top-four team on Saturday.

The Kangaroos added fourth-placed Portland to their impressive list of Melville Oval victims this season with a 24-point win that reignited their campaign.

The Kangaroos, who have now beaten three of the top four teams at the ground, ended their five-round occupation of bottom spot on the ladder with the 12.17 (89) to 9.11 (65) result.

“It’s not a bad thing,” Holt said of his side’s home-ground record.

“If we can keep winning our games at home — we have a few to go — and pinch one or two away, it will be good.”

After beating top side Warrnambool, second-placed Koroit and Portland, Holt said his young side was gathering belief.

Holt described Saturday’s win as “pretty satisfying”.

“We needed it. It was probably doom and gloom for us if we lost,” he said.

Holt said the Kangaroos had to make the most of the momentum a win created.

“If we are going to be in contention and maybe make the finals, we need to back it up. I don’t think the club has won two in a row yet.”

Saturday’s win was the first for the club, born out of a merger between Hamilton and Hamilton Imperials, against arch- rival Portland since clubs from the two towns joined the HFNL last season.

Holt said the Kangaroos should have put the result beyond doubt earlier than it did deep in the final term after inaccurate conversion.

“The games we’ve won we’ve finished off pretty well but we’ve been in some games at times this year where the game is there to be won and we haven’t been able to do it.

“It was genuine want to win the footy (that got us over the line). I thought we ran out the game pretty well. I think we might have kicked the last three goals.”

Portland coach Jake Myles lamented his side’s poor start. The Kangaroos kicked 3.6 to 2.1 in the opening term.

“We lost the first half of the first quarter and we were playing catch-up footy after that,” he said.

“We had our chances but butchered the footy going forward or turned it over. To their credit they were outstanding. We just weren’t there to play in the first 15 minutes and that’s what cost us the game.

“We probably lost a bit of respect from what we’ve gained over the last month. But we’ve got another opportunity next week.”

The Tigers have injury worries, with star midfielder Luke Crane suffering a shoulder complaint that forced him to play permanently forward in the second half, while teenager Daniel Jackson suffered a back injury.

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