KOROIT coach Chris McLaren is hoping his team’s ability to bounce back from defeat can propel it into a sixth straight Hampden league grand final.
The Saints take on Port Fairy in the preliminary final at Friendly Societies Park on Saturday. After finishing on top of the ladder, Koroit suffered a surprise 20-point loss to Camperdown in the second semi-final.
“The boys are pretty disappointed with how we played last week and they are keen to bounce back,” McLaren said. “We have been pretty good at making sure we don’t lose two games in a row too often.”
McLaren’s observation about his team’s ability to bounce back is supported by statistics.
Since its history-equalling run of winning four consecutive flags began in 2014, the Saints have lost two games in a row on only one occasion.
This happened in 2016, with losses to Warrnambool in round three and North Warrnambool Eagles in round four. While Koroit has been dominant over the past five seasons, its record in second semi-finals is below its usual lofty standards.
The Saints lost second semi-finals in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, their only victory in this fixture came in 2015.
While second semi-final day has proven a regular stumbling block for Koroit, it has owned the preliminary final stage, claiming victory after each second semi-final loss.
This includes a thrilling five-point win over Port Fairy in the penultimate game of the 2016 season.