Positive signs for born-again Saints after giving North Warrnambool Eagles a pasting

North Warrnambool Eagle Darcy Keast gets away from Koroit's4 Sam Dobson. 140726RG39 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE
North Warrnambool Eagle Darcy Keast gets away from Koroit's4 Sam Dobson. 140726RG39 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

KOROIT will carry plenty of confidence into Saturday’s minor premiership showdown with Warrnambool after giving third-placed North Warrnambool Eagles a lesson on efficiency.

The Saints underlined their significant improvement this season when they doubled the Eagles score in winning by 53 points at Bushfield Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

Koroit’s 16.10 (106) to 7.11 (53) victory confirmed a gulf between the top two sides and the rest. The Saints had slick ball movement through creative handball, strong running and precise kicking while the Eagles lacked their usual run and butchered possessions.

To make things worse for the Eagles, when they did eventually get it deep to their forwards, they were unable to convert, with a set shot missed from the top of the goal square in the last quarter a perfect example.

Reigning Maskell Medal winner Ben Goodall’s return to the game couldn’t have been better. Playing for the first time since last year’s grand final after taking a break, he kicked 3.6 playing in the midfield and across half-forward. He and the form of teenagers Willem Drew, James Gow and first-gamer Jarrod Korewha were big positives for the Saints. There weren’t many for the Eagles, with livewire forward Jeremy Parkinson taken to hospital in the first quarter suffering what club officials believed was a dislocated ankle.

Koroit coach Adam Dowie was impressed with his side’s run and carry and attributed indoor training to helping that aspect.

“Our handball skills were really, really good, changing the angles, forward and back and we’ve been doing our extra sessions involving fitness but a lot of stuff has been indoors where we are working in traffic, confined spaces. I reckon something as simple as that stood out,” Dowie said.

Dowie said Drew’s performance had been outstanding opposed to Eagles danger man Jarryd Lewis.

Eagles coach Bernard Moloney was upbeat with his players after the game but knows their grip on a finals double chance hangs on Saturday’s away game against Portland.

“We weren’t good enough,” he said, adding the Eagles’ ball-use was below expectations.

“Most of Koroit’s opportunities were created by our execution of the footy, it stood out dramatically.”“Until we learn how to play against good sides under fierce pressure and make good decisions we will keep falling into that same old hole.”