A season-ending injury to utility Noah Kol further soured South Warrnambool's narrow loss to arch rival Warrnambool on Saturday.
Kol was carried from the ground in the first quarter and sent for scans.
Roosters coach Mat Battistello confirmed post-game the Geelong-based player had fractured his leg and would miss the remainder of the 2019 Hampden league season.
"It is really disappointing for Noah, he was having a great season," Battistello said after the Roosters' 10.9 (69) to 8.14 (62) defeat at Reid Oval.
"He'll be out for the year now. Someone slid into the side of his leg. It's not great for him and travelling from Geelong as well, he's super committed to the footy club so it's disappointing."
Battistello said Kol could play multiple roles and was "the ultimate team player".
"He just plays his role every single week. He's very reliable, he's one of those ones where you move the magnet onto the board straight away because you know exactly what you're going to get," he said.
Warrnambool and South Warrnambool, who both entered the game with 6-1 win-loss records, were locked on 20 points at quarter-time.
The Blues had seven-point leads at half-time and three-quarter-time in a see-sawing battle where pressure was high and skill errors constant.
First-gamer Zacc Dwyer, whose first goal came on the eve of the main break, received a 50-metre penalty late in the third term.
His second major ensured the Blues took the lead entering the fourth term.
The Blues skipped out to a 13-point lead early before Rooster Paddy Anderson crumbed a nice goal.
Mitch Bidmade responded for the Blues with a classy finish from a tight angle to give them breathing space again.
But the Roosters rallied once more with Corey Gallichan converting his second major. Travis Graham missed two chances down the other end for Warrnambool but time was on the Blues' side.
Warrnambool coach Matt O'Brien said it was a gritty win but turnovers, poor kicking and drop marks marred the spectacle.
"We would have had 10 out on the fulls. It was awful," he said.
"It probably was pressure. Just talking to the players, they said it was a step up from last week's game in pace and it was ping-ponging a bit between the half-back lines quite quickly and there wasn't much time to set."
Battistello said the Roosters took positives out of the contest but rued wasted chances.
"We kicked 1.6 in the second quarter when he had plenty of play and momentum was probably the difference in the end," he said.
"I think it was reasonably positive for our young group. I think our young players created plenty of opportunities just didn't quite capitalise.
"It was disappointing not to get a result because I thought they played particularly well."
Battistello, who was pleased with NAB League-listed teenager Isaac Thomas' performance on league leading goal-kicker Darren Ewing, said South Warrnambool was happy to be an underdog.
"Externally probably most people don't rate us but I certainly have a different opinion of this group," he said.
"We still haven't found a ceiling with their individual development."
The Roosters kept the usually high-scoring Blues to their lowest tally of the season.
But O'Brien said the Blues' back line, which has been is unheralded back bone all season, was crucial to the win.
"Our back line was really good. They had a lot of inside 50s that we were able to rebound," he said.
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