STRENGTH around the contest and a multi-faceted forward line are helping South Warrnambool's quest to rattle the Hampden league's pace-setters.
The Roosters made it three straight wins to start the season when they accounted for Koroit 15.6 (96) to 8.15 (63) at Friendly Societies' Park on Good Friday.
South Warrnambool coach Mat Battistello praised the Roosters' contested work, labelling it "the most pleasing thing" about the victory which was set up on the back of a five-goal to one first term.
"Koroit are an outstanding footy team and club and the way they cracked in last week (against North Warrnambool Eagles) we knew we needed to match them in that regard," he said post-game.
"It's certainly been an area of improvement for us. I felt we came up against the best and were maybe able to get the points in regards to that.
"I don't think you beat Koroit without everyone having a lick of the ice-cream in regards to everyone taking their turn to put their head over it.
"The whole group at certain times had to win a 50-50 contest and I felt like they did."
Koroit coach Chris McLaren thought the Roosters had the edge in contested ball too.
"Our work rate was a fair bit below where it needs to be and where it normally is," he said.
"We got outnumbered at a contest, they'd win it and then they'd outnumber us at the next one too.
"South were really good around the congestion."
The Roosters also identified the forward line as an area of improvement in the off-season and signed Dylan Weir and Jack Dye to help diversify their attacking options.
They combined for seven goals against the Saints.
Battistello said the pair had eased the pressure on fellow talls Shannon Beks and Sam Kelly.
"In my time here they have carried an enormous burden and now they have some help," he said.
"Shannon's last two games have been outstanding because he's been allowed to do what he does well and previously we've asked him to do things outside of his scope.
"It is really pleasing to see him reap the benefits of his selfless team acts."
Battistello wants South to harness the energy from the win but is wary of the the six-time reigning premier.
"We know Koroit and North bashed each other up last week and are probably pretty sore," he said.
"We know it's a building block for us and we know Koroit will bounce back and move on from that one pretty quickly."
McLaren said each game had positives and negatives to draw on.
He was pleased with the Saints' ability to get scoring shots - they had two more than the Roosters - but lamented their inaccuracy.
"In games like those you'll generally find more negatives than positives but there was some small things there," he said.
Koroit's three-goal five-minute burst to start the second term "where we were able to get on top and score heavily" lifted the coach's spirits.
Saints defender Tim McPherson has been battling a hip flexor/groin and was rested late.
Roosters midfielder Josh Saunders had a hyper-extension of his elbow but finished the game.
South 5.2, 8.3, 13.5, 15.6 (96)
Koroit 1.3, 4.7, 7.8, 8.15 (63)
Best: South: Nick Thompson, Archie Stevens, Jed Henderson, Sam Thompson, Ollie Bridgewater, Trent Williamson; Koroit: Tim McPherson, Jack O'Sullivan, Thomas Baulch, Jeremy Hausler, Alex Pulling, Dallas Mooney.
Goals: South: Jack Dye 4, Dylan Weir 3, Sam Kelly 2, Brayden Beks 1, Ricky Henderson 1, Jed Henderson 1, Josh Saunders 1, Archie Stevens 1, Nick Thompson 1; Koroit: Sam Dobson 3, Will Couch 2, Dallas Mooney 1, Jyron Neave 1
South 7.14 (56) def Koroit 3.3 (21)
Koroit 7.11 (53) def South 7.10 (52)
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