THE lessons of a development year are coming to the fore for Warrnambool at the pointy end of the season.
The Blues rose to the occasion in heavy rain against Terang Mortlake at D.C. Farran Oval, their want to win coming to the fore in the second quarter.
With the rain settling in at the first break, the visitors adjusted instantly to the conditions, booting five goals to one to turn what had been a two-point advantage at the start of the term to a commanding 26-point lead at half-time.
The Blues absorbed any challenge the Bloods offered in the second half, going on to win 13.17 (95) to 8.8 (56).
“I think we showed our character as a team, where we dug in together and made sure that we weren’t going to let the game slip away,” Warrnambool coach John Cook said.
“You’re proud of young blokes when they do that sort of stuff for each other.
“We still have to execute our skills a bit better and we still have to eliminate those mistakes, but to win by 39 points was really pleasing.”
The Blues amassed 30 scoring shots, but threatened to kick themselves out of the game in the second term.
The Bloods kicked the opening goal after the main break through Brodie Carroll, who juggled the ball on the run before slotting through the major.
It took more than six attempts at goal for the Blues to reclaim the six points, with several misses at the northern end of the ground – including some the fell short or went out-on-the-full.
“It was disappointing, our third quarter,” Cook said.
“We ad maybe 90 per cent of the play and we kicked (two goals six). That was disappointing, but that’s one of the things we need to improve on, obviously.”
Terang Mortlake assistant coach Chris Bant kicked the opening goal of the final term, giving the home side a sniff, but the inroads were quickly eroded by the Blues, with Andrew McCarthy scoring a reply within 30 seconds, followed soon after by Rob Bright.
The Blues booted four goals to two in what was a frustrating final term for Terang Mortlake coach Michael Sargeant.
“I don’t mind losing sometimes, but it’s just the way you lose,” he said.
“I was really disappointed with the way we lost that last quarter.”
The first-year coach lamented his side’s delay in adjusting to the wet weather, which gave Warrnambool the break in the second term.