TERANG Mortlake coach Matthew Irving says the Bloods are not yet assured of a finals berth, despite climbing to fourth with a win against South Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Bloods improved their win-loss record to 8-8 and moved a game clear of fifth-placed Camperdown and sixth-placed Portland with their 13.18 (96) to 11.6 (72) victory at Friendly Societies’ Park.
But with just two matches remaining, Irving said his side could not count on having an extended season, with tough games against Koroit and Camperdown to come.
“I’m never confident because we’re too up and down,” Irving said.
“That’s probably the first time any side from outside the top two sides has put three wins in a row together. We have got momentum but we’ve not got great momentum. We only rolled over the line last week.”
Irving said his Bloods were far from impressive in an “ugly game of footy” on Saturday.
“But if we continue to do what we are doing then the results will look after themselves,” he said.
The Bloods wasted opportunities, winning by just 24 points despite having almost double South’s scoring shots.
He said the young Roosters’ line-up had hurt the Bloods on the counter-attack. “Some of our shots were from deep in the pockets and we had spoken about not doing that and sometimes we butchered the footy under pretty intense pressure and at other times under no pressure. We have to continue to work on that,” he said.
South Warrnambool coach Matthew Monk said the Roosters lifted in the second half.
“I thought our second half was good but we were disappointing prior to that,” he said.
“We didn’t put up much of a fight early. To be honest, a four-goal (margin) flattered us really.
“It wasn’t a great game of footy to watch but they controlled it.”
Monk said the Roosters “can’t throw out the young card all the time” and had to take responsibility for their efforts.
He was rapt with wingman Tim Ryan’s efforts in attack, where he showed his strong hands and kicked four goals, and teenage pair Harry Lee and Paddy Anderson.
Anderson played a shutdown role on Bloods onballer Wil Pomorin.
Monk said playing as a tagger was a good learning curve for Anderson, who has been one of the Roosters’ shining lights this season.