It doesn’t have a fancy name nor is it a simple concept but the “Nirranda Press” does however deliver when co-coaches Shane Threlfall and Shane Quick ask it to.
All year the Blues’ defence has been its strength and on the Warrnambool and District grand stage it stood up once again to deliver a 10.11 (71) to 5.10 (40) premiership triumph over Old Collegians.
The strength of Nirranda’s team defence was on show for three quarters as it kept the Warriors, who were featuring in their third straight decider, to just four behinds.
Threlfall, who co-coached with Quick when the Blues ended a 17-year premiership drought in 2016, said the “Nirranda Press” relied on his players understanding their individual roles.
“We call it the Nirranda Press... the back six really understand how the it works and now we have our midfielders who buy into that and roll back and help,” the third-year coach said.
“Then the last part is the high half-forwards rolling up and playing their role. It’s really a team defence.
“Right through from half-way in our first year they really embraced that tactic and now take pride that they can do it well.”
The press did slip in the fourth quarter as the Warriors, mostly through Sam Dwyer’s three goals, added five goals to make the margin a much more respectable 31 points.
Threlfall said the Blues wouldn’t have to change much with the personnel they have in their back six.
“We haven’t had to work on it that much this year because three of our players, Luke Weel, Matt Lloyd and Brayden Harkness, just understand it that well they make sure everyone is in the right spot,” he said.
“So we hardly have to work on that anymore and we just encourage our midfielders to run back.”
Quick said the two premierships were difficult to compare.
“You certainly don’t get sick of winning that’s for sure,” he said. “But they are both totally different. It came from nowhere and was a bit of a fairytale in 2016 and that makes it really special.
“But this year after developing a really strong culture with leadership, setups and structures and then to be able to execute that and be strong right from the start all the way to the finish it off on the big stage, that’s just so pleasing and completes the year beautifully and it was a team effort.”