PORT Fairy coach Dan Nicholson hopes the Seagulls can replicate their offensive power in the preliminary final after a return to form in the Hampden league first semi-final.
Nicholson, who hobbled from the ground in the final term with what he described as cramp, said the Seagulls “released the shackles” in their 16.5 (101) to 8.7 (55) demolition of South Warrnambool on Sunday.
The Seagulls relished the wide expanses at D.C Farran Oval, reaching triple figures for the first time since round 15.
The win also ended a four-game losing streak.
“I think we identified that our foot skills late in the season haven’t been up to it when we’ve been trying to control the footy,” Nicholson said.
“And the last four or five weeks we've been doing that on purpose to practice it.
“We understand where we’re at and we dropped a few games and everyone’s made a big deal about it.
“We made a change this week and said we’d release the shackles a little bit and start to incorporate the handball receives back into our game and it paid off today.
“We know we have the offensive power to match it with anyone, it’s just whether we bring that intensity from the get-go.”
Port Fairy started with a six-goal to one opening term.
Sam McCartney, whose clean marking was a highlight, kicked six majors, including the first two of the game.
Nicholson, who chimed in with three himself, said he was pleased with the Seagulls’ forward line and was confident it could fire against Koroit in the preliminary final.
South Warrnambool coach Mat Buck conceded the Roosters were badly beaten but would “lick our wounds and move on”.
“It’s a little unfortunate for us to go out like that but that’s football,” he said.
“They beat us in all areas of the game and we managed to get a few goals on the board but at no stage did I think we challenged them at all. They were terrific.”
South Warrnambool suffered three injuries – Ethan Harvey (concussion), Sam Kelly (upper leg) and Paddy Anderson (finger tendons).
A groggy Harvey – a promising teenager in the TAC Cup system – was helped from the ground in the third term.
Seagulls midfielder Kaine Mercovich (sprained finger) was their other injury concern.