NORTH Warrnambool Eagles co-coach Graeme Twaddle is grateful VFL club Werribee gave Josh Corbett the all-clear to play for his home club on Saturday.
Twaddle was unsure if Corbett would be free to play when he named him on an extended bench on Thursday night.
The uncertainty didn’t worry the strong-marking forward who booted nine goals in the Eagles’ 19.14 (128) to 7.12 (54) rout of Warrnambool at Bushfield Recreation Reserve.
“He kicked five in the first quarter,” Twaddle said.
“Most of them were were in a marking contest and his second-half goals were lead-up types.”
Corbett’s fast-start was reflective of North Warrnambool’s efforts.
The Eagles, wearing special guernseys honouring 20 years in the Hampden league, were eager to please their fans and did just that, kicking seven goals to one in the first term.
“We were rapt. It was a really pleasing first quarter,” Twaddle said.
“We won plenty of ball through the middle and moved the ball quickly.
“We got deep forward entries which was good as well.”
Warrnambool stemmed the damage in the second and third quarters, kicking four goals to six in that time.
Twaddle asked for a response to finish and got his wish with the Eagles booting six goals to two in the final term.
“We put the boys under the acid a bit in the last quarter and they responded well,” he said.
Co-coach Rory Taggert was sidelined for a large chunk of the game for precautionary measures after suffering bruising to his leg.
He travelled to Melbourne for Vic Country training after the game.
“To not have him on the ground and win the way we did, we’re quite pleased,” Twaddle said.
Warrnambool coach John Cook said the match was another step in a “big learning experience” his club was going through.
“We sort of got run over in the in the end. There were passages of play and periods of the game where we had most of the play, but the bigger bodies and the experience of North Warrnambool prevailed,” he said.
“We need a full effort for the 21 guys that we pick to be successful. We can’t afford to have too many players down on their form during the game, because we just need to give those younger players positive role models.”
Jye Turland was the Blues’ best and Dan Weymouth was strong in the ruck, while midfielders Darcy Graham and Tom Ludeman were impressive.
The Blues had just one injury concern, with Otto Opperman dislocating a finger, but Cook said it had been treated and he should be right for next week.