KOROIT is confident leading goal-kicker Jarrod Korewha will be fit to play when it chases a record fifth straight Hampden league premiership.
The tall forward had ice wrapped around his right ankle as the Saints celebrated making their sixth consecutive decider on Saturday.
Korewha, who kicked two goals, hobbled from the ground in the fourth quarter of their 6.13 (49) to 6.7 (43) preliminary final win over Port Fairy at Friendly Societies’ Park.
Koroit coach Chris McLaren expects the former TAC Cup-listed footballer to recover in time for the Saints’ grand final date with Camperdown.
“He’s had an ankle (issue) a few times this year. He went over on it but was able to limp off,” he said.
“He’ll be fine – we’ll ice him up and tape him up and away he goes.
“It was hard today with any injury to get it warmed up, you’re bloody freezing so it feels 10 times worse.”
McLaren admitted watching the dying minutes of the wind-affected match was “bloody nerve-racking”.
A howling gale made it difficult to score with only three points kicked to the Port Fairy end of the ground.
The out-of-bounds-on-the-full count exceeded 30 as the breeze played havoc.
Port Fairy scored four unanswered goals in the first term to be 30 points clear at quarter-time.
Koroit responded with five of its own in the second term to take a five-point buffer into the main break.
The Saints’ dogged third term – they kept the Seagulls to two goals – proved the difference in tricky conditions.
“Prelim finals are often tougher games, more intense games, more physical games (than grand finals),” McLaren said.
“We had to grind one out. Given we knew how the conditions would be, it was never going to be pretty at any stage.”
McLaren said the conditions were like “kicking with a hurricane”.
“I don’t think they kicked a goal until the 12 or 13-minute mark (of the first term) and you think you’re a long way into the quarter then but when they’re going 37 minutes it’s an eternity still,” he said.
“I don’t know if we’ve played in windier than that.
“We actually at times purposely kicked the ball on the ground.”
Koroit, which has won the past four grand finals, is eager to add another premiership cup to its collection.
McLaren said the Saints were tough markers.
“I don’t want to sound rude but when you’re winning them and having success, as soon as you don’t make a grand final, it’s a failure,” he said.
“Most of the time if you sat down at the start of the year and said ‘we’ll play in a preliminary final’, that’s a tick, you’ve had a successful year.
“(But when you’re winning flags) you don’t want to give it up.
“You feel like it’s yours and someone has to take it off you.
“I think when you finish clear on top of the ladder, it would be a disappointing result not to play in a grand final.”