GALLERY: Blues talls control contest

TOO big, too strong and too experienced.

Warrnambool taught a young South Warrnambool side a football lesson for the second time this season yesterday.

The Blues’ big men Sam Cowling, 200-gamer Andrew McCarthy, Tim O’Keeffe and Travis Graham all played a role in their 17.13 (115) to 6.7 (43) win at Friendly Societies’ Park.

Then there was full- forward Jason Rowan, who kicked four of his six goals in the opening term to put the game beyond South Warrnambool’s reach by  quarter-time.

Cowling finished with four goals to complement Rowan and an aerial highlight reel.

The swingman took countless contested grabs as he stamped his influence on the contest.

McCarthy likewise was a threat in the air, floating into defence, as has become his custom, to take saving grabs as the Roosters kicked the ball in with little direction. O’Keeffe slotted two goals playing mainly in defence and Graham provided a searching target up the ground.

Warrnambool coach Scott Carter recognised the Blues’ much-vaunted forward line and versatility.

“Sam Cowling is a hard match-up and that is the beauty of our side — we have three key forwards and you might keep one down for the day but you’re very rarely going to keep all down,” he said.

“Rowy, when the game was there to be won in the first quarter, kicked four goals and he’s probably kicked 6.5 or 6.6 and Travis (Graham) led up at the ball. 

“We’ve been happy all year the way our three key forwards have been working together.”

The Blues started the heritage match strongly, eager to put a shock loss to Hamilton Kangaroos behind them. Jake O’Donnell was lively early as Warrnambool pounced on South turnovers and raced to a 33-point quarter-time lead.

The Roosters broke through for two goals in the second term but the Blues went into the main break 50 points up after Cowling outmarked three Rooster opponents to kick a goal near the main break.

South Warrnambool, with brothers Nick and Sam Thompson working relentlessly in the midfield, stemmed the tide in the third term.

The Roosters, whose application couldn’t be questioned, kept the Blues to one goal and kicked two themselves in their best periody. The Blues responded with a six-goal final term.

South coach Matt Monk, whose side suffered an 85-point loss to the Blues in round one, lamented the Roosters’ skill level and composure. “We thought our skills in round one against were atrocious and again today we butchered the footy which was disappointing,” he said.

“Credit to Warrnambool, obviously they put a lot of pressure on around the football and maybe they were just intimidated against the quality of the opposition.”


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