WARRNAMBOOL coach Matt O'Brien believes Sam Cowling will be the biggest beneficiary of the Blues' new-look forward line.
Boom recruit Darren Ewing booted 11 goals in the Blues' 29.14 (188) to 8.6 (54) Hampden league round one rout of Cobden at Reid Oval on Saturday.
The former NT Thunder spearhead made light work of the Bombers' depleted defence with Cowling (four goals), Luke Cody (three) and Travis Graham, Jye Turland and Austin Steere (two each) chiming in.
O'Brien said Ewing took the pressure off Cowling.
"Sam took a lot of marks because we were able to get it to him one-on-one contests rather than two-on-three like last year," he said.
"And we didn't have to kick it to him where he was out of position."
O'Brien said Ewing finished with 11.7 in a dominant display.
"He marked well, he recovered well," he said.
"He was a good target for us and he's a beautiful kick."
Graham, part of the Blues' three-pronged key forward structure, also impressed O'Brien in his return to the club after two seasons away.
"Trav presented well, particularly high," he said.
"His use of the ball was exceptional and he gave us something extra."
O'Brien, who also praised Steere for his run and carry and Kurt Lenehan's efforts in his 100th senior game for the club, was pleased with Warrnambool's consistency.
The Blues kicked six goals in the first term, seven in the second, five in the third and 11 in the last.
"In the last quarter we got it out of the middle and converted well," he said.
"We can only control what we can control and we did it consistently which was great."
A serious hamstring injury to Cobden midfielder Daniel Watson compounded the Bombers' woes.
The assistant coach was hurt in the third quarter and is expected to miss between six and eight weeks.
First-year mentor Adam Courtney said he felt for Watson.
"It's the 13th time he's done it so he knows how long a time period he'll be out," he said.
"He'd had a massive pre-season and worked his butt off to get his hamstrings right so to do his hamstring is disappointing for him."
Zac Green (concussion) will also miss round two but Jack McGlade (knee) will be available to face North Warrnambool Eagles under lights.
Courtney said the Bombers took a young list into the match and would be better for the experience.
"No-one likes to lose by 20 goals but our average games played with under 20 today," he said.
"It was always going to be tough but we backed our young blokes in."
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