TERANG Mortlake coach Michael Sargeant says he’s “in for the long haul” after the door shut on the Bloods’ finals hopes.
An inaccurate Bloods bowed out of the Hampden league top-five race after falling to South Warrnambool 9.10 (64) to 4.19 (43) at a wet, muddy Friendly Societies’ Park on Saturday.
“From my perspective, I’m in it for the long haul,” the second-year coach said.
“It wouldn’t be right to finish up now.”
Sargeant, who is contracted for 2019, said he’d like to think his players were “down in the dumps a bit” after missing out on a September berth.
They are 10 points outside the top-five with two games to play.
“It’s disappointing but at the end of the day, it’s the situation we got ourselves in to,” he said.
“We lost games we should have won and in the middle part of the season we got injuries.
“We’ll try and finish the season on a positive, that’s our aim at the moment.”
Sargeant lamented the Bloods’ poor goal-kicking despite the trying conditions.
They kicked 2.8 in the opening term.
“We kicked ourselves out of it in the end,” he said.
“It was tough conditions and the ground was a complete mess but they seemed to score a little easier. We had a lot of play but didn’t convert.”
Sargeant said Jordie McKenzie and Jess Budarick, “who looked like he was playing with a dry ball at times”, did their best to give Terang Mortlake a chance.
The result had a positive impact for fourth-placed South Warrnambool, keeping its top-three dreams alive.
Roosters coach Mat Buck said it was pleasing they could “grind out a win” in inclement conditions after falling to Warrnambool and Hamilton Kangaroos in similar circumstances.
“There were a few lessons, especially out of the Warrnambool game, about getting the ball in dangerous positions,” he said.
Buck said some of his players relished the conditions.
“Zacc Struth really stepped up, Shannon Beks was excellent at centre-half-forward and Manny Sandow provided drive in the ruck which was really pleasing,” he said.
South Warrnambool midfielders Liam Youl and Josh Saunders returned from hamstring injuries and got through the game unscathed.
“They were a fraction rusty but that’s to be expected when you’ve had a month off football,” Buck said.