FINALS hopeful South Warrnambool has stunned arch-rival Warrnambool to emerge as a premiership dark horse.
The Roosters created breathing space with the victory, moving four points and percentage above Hamilton Kangaroos in sixth.
Matt Battistello's side produced a season-defining 15.6 (96) to 10.9 (69) scoreline, gaining redemption from a seven-point defeat in the round eight reverse fixture.
Battistello, who announced he'd signed on for another season post-match, said his side hadn't spoken about ladder positions prior the match.
The Roosters needed four points to stave off Hamilton Kangaroos' late charge for fifth spot.
"We haven't spoken about that at all and haven't been too concerned about it," Battistello said.
"Maybe in the media channels it's drummed up a bit but we haven't considered that at all.
"We just knew once we got through this heavy phase (of training work) once we tapered off hopefully we could get back to the earlier season form.
"Hopefully the work the boys have done over the last six weeks will hold us in good stead provided we do make the finals and we should have good momentum."
Sam Thompson was among the Roosters best with five majors, while youngster Archie Stevens was serviceable in his 11th senior game.
Battistello said confidence was flowing ahead of the Roosters' clash with North Warrnambool Eagles next week.
It's just been a matter of managing our players, getting them on the park at the right time and making sure they're fit and healthy leading into finals.Matt Battistello
"We only lost to North and Warrnambool by seven points last time so it hasn't been a matter of confidence," the former Lake Wendouree coach said.
"It's just been a matter of managing our players, getting them on the park at the right time and making sure they're fit and healthy leading into finals.
"We were able to capitalise on a couple of early season wins and while a couple of external results in Camperdown and Cobden didn't go our way, we know there are factors that contributed to those."
Warrnambool coach Matt O'Brien lauded South Warrnambool's gameplan and execution.
He revealed the Blues were monitoring an ankle injury sustained by Jed Turland in the second term.
"South played a terrific game - their ball use was excellent," O'Brien said.
"Their run was fantastic, their spread on a small ground was great and they defended really well. They were terrific."
O'Brien said the Blues would use the loss as an opportunity to refine their game plan leading into finals.
"One of the good things about having a loss is that you have a good honest look at yourself," he said.
"We'll try to analyse this as closely as possible.
"We'll have a look at the video and have a chat on Tuesday night about the things we can polish up on."
O'Brien said the extent of Turland's injury was not yet known.
"He came back on (after it happened) but it was no good."
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