KOROIT coach Chris McLaren says eliminating Port Fairy bursts when the two Hampden league premiership contenders meet on Saturday will help the Saints avenge their early season defeat.
The Saints defender believes the rivalry between the clubs has returned to its once-renowned intensity and is expecting a bumper crowd to flock to Victoria Park for the round 12 clash.
“The rivalry dropped off for a long time when Port was struggling but the last three or four years they’ve recruited well and it’s become a good rivalry again,” McLaren said.
Koroit has won nine of its past 10 games after copping a 70-point season-opening loss to Port Fairy.
McLaren said the Saints took lessons out of that heavy defeat.
“Like every game, you have to defend well,” he said.
“They have firepower and can get their tails up and kick multiple goals.
“You have to try and limit their run on. We’ve been in games where sides have had momentum against us and we have been able to defend well and only cough up one or two goals instead of five or six, and that is going to be important tomorrow.”
Port Fairy coach Brett Evans, who echoed McLaren’s thoughts on the heated rivalry, said the top-placed Seagulls were excited to test themselves against the three-time reigning premier.
He said it would be “a day where no one can have any passengers”.
“The last few games we have been able to win pretty convincingly but we’ve probably had some flat spots and guys have played a quarter or two or the whole team was doing enough to win,” Evans said.
“It (playing Koroit) is a big test and we can not play patchy footy.”
Evans believes they play a similar brand to the Saints.