South Warrnambool celebrated Jock Blair's long-awaited return from injury with a gritty 22-point win over the Hamilton Kangaroos.
Blair, 24, missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery but was one of the Roosters' best in the 12.11 (83) to 9.7 (61) victory at Friendly Societies Park.
South coach Mat Battistello said he was rapt Blair made it through the game unscathed.
"Jock was outstanding, just the way he covers the ground," he said.
"It was the first time I got to watch him play and it was really exciting for our supporters and the team, because he's well respected, well liked and brings a lot of energy to our group."
Battistello also picked out ruckman Sam Kelly, who booted two goals and often gave his side first use of the ball against the Kangaroos' boom recruit Levi Dare, as one of the Roosters' best.
The Kangaroos briefly grabbed the lead in the second term after Luke Uebergang manufactured a clever goal off the deck from close range.
But order was restored moments later when Shannon Beks kicked truly from a set shot on the forward flank.
And Battistello said from this point, the victory was carved out from a strong team performance.
"That's what we're looking for instead of individual accolades and it seems to be working for us at the moment," Battistello said.
"We were able to get more of the ball in the second half and play our brand of footy, which was significant for us in going on to win the game.
"We challenged the boys at half-time and they really took ownership of it. They're ability to listen, learn and apply was really pleasing from the coaches' perspective."
Battistello said South would make the best of its six-day break before a major test against Koroit.
Dylan Starkie and Brady Hicks impressed through the middle for Hamilton, while Jandre Slabbert provided rebound from defence.
Kangaroos coach Matt Dunn said Beks' steadying goal while his side had the wind and some momentum was a turning point, with the Roosters able to exploit increased possession later in the game.
"We like to back ourselves with speed, but their ball use by foot when it counted was probably the difference in the end," he said.
"Our turnovers were better than last week...but we got into bad habits with some boot-banging and coughing up the ball too easily."
Dunn said maintaining tackling pressure would be a major focus in the lead-up to his side's crunch game against Portland.
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