HAMILTON Kangaroos knew they were a strong-starting side.
Port Fairy was aware it was the opposite.
Fortunes were reversed on Saturday as the Seagulls, anchored to the bottom of the Hampden league ladder, kicked the first three goals at Gardens Oval.
They led by a point at half-time. The Roos found their momentum in the second half, kicking eight goals to two to run out 13.8 (86) to 7.8 (50) winners.
MORE FOOTY: All the round 10 Hampden league scores
Kangaroos coach Gerard FitzGerald said his team's response was pleasing.
"Port Fairy were terrific early and that is a credit to (coach) Winis (Imbi) that his lads have still got some real enthusiasm and spirit," he said.
"We've normally been starting well so they we had to deal with scoreboard pressure early.
"We had to find a way to have a win. The win will do us an enormous amount of good because we've showed good signs the last couple of weeks against quality opposition (in Koroit and North Warrnambool).
"But there is nothing better for morale than to do well enough for long enough and ultimately get a reward."
Imbi, whose side has one win from 10 matches, said the first half was a step in the right direction.
"We were really happy with our first quarter and even in the second quarter as well," he said.
"The first time we played Hamilton (in round one) they kicked six goals to nothing.
"We did have a focus on how we started because most sides, and I am going statistically here, would average eight scoring shots (against us)."
Imbi said FitzGerald was an astute coach who got the game back on the Roos' terms after half-time.
"Hamilton counter-attacked well. In reflection they were structured better and executed better," he said.
Young players impressed for both sides.
Teenager Noah Uebergang kicked a game-high six goals for the Kangaroos.
FitzGerald said Uebergang was an "example of growth from within", a trait the club wants to pride itself on.
"He is a natural player and has good consistency now in his training and got himself into the seniors a few weeks ago and hasn't looked back," he said.
"He has the ability to play above his height, be good at ground level and is a nice kick."
Another emerging Roo, Duncan Rentsch, was given a task on former AFL player Shane Savage while Jack English had his "best game for the footy club".
FitzGerald said it was "an invaluable experience" for Rentsch.
"We had him down for 20 possessions and Shane Savage 19," he said.
Port Fairy had four debutants - ruckman Jayden Ward, midfielder Connor McDonald, forward-ruck Luke Hynes and Melbourne-based student Jack Hogan.
"It was very exciting, our midfielders were actually talking about how good it was to get their hands on the ball first," Imbi said of Ward's ruck efforts.
"He is a good young kid and he even surprised himself."
Roo pair Tom Scott (ankle) and Darcy Russell (hip) were hurt as was Seagull Andy McMeel (hamstring).
Hamilton Kangaroos 3.1, 5.3, 9.6, 13.8 (86)
Port Fairy 3.2, 5.4, 6.6, 7.8 (50)
Noah Uebergang 6, Riley Alexander 2, Max Green 2, Luke Uebergang 1, Darcy Russell 1, Brady Hicks 1
Jake Bartlett 3, Kurt Smith 1, Shane Savage 1, Isaac Martin 1, Luke Hynes 1
Duncan Rentsch, Noah Uebergang, Jack English, Charles Murrie, Rory Gill, Brady Hicks
Port Fairy: Josh Dwyer, Isaac Martin, BJ Dalton, Tyler Hetherington, Kurt Smith, George Swarbrick
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