NIRRANDA hopes it can replicate Saturday’s efficiency going forward as it prepares to tackle 2016 grand final opponent Old Collegians next round.
Blues co-coach Shane Threlfall described the 16.17 (113) to 5.2 (32) win over Dennington as closer than the scoreboard suggested.
“It was an interesting game – in general play, it was a lot tighter,” he said.
“We were just able to get it on the scoreboard. We were able to make the most of our forward entries.
“It never felt like we were actually dominating the game, which is strange with that scoreline.”
Gary Robinson was the main beneficiary of the Blues’ ball movement forward, booting nine majors as he continues to pull away atop the Warrnambool and District goalkicking leaderboard.
Threlfall praised the work of Nirranda’s back six – anchored by Mathew Lloyd, Luke Weel, Reagan Nutting, Liam Arnott and Brayden Harkness, with others shifting through to help – in restricted Dennington’s scoring capacity, allowing them just seven scoring shots for the game.
The loss was a costly one for Dennington on more than one front, which was also struck by injuries, with Herb Barlow (hamstring), Billy Keane (shoulder), Charlie McDonald (ankle) and James Sclanders (corkie) going down.
“After quarter-time their midfielders got right on top,” Dogs coach Jacob Rhodes said. “We did have a bit more of the play, but we’d … just turn it over and they’d rebound.”