DEPTH is going to be crucial in a season where teams navigate COVID-19 protocols.
And Koroit has it in spades.
The Saints threw around the magnets in their come-from-behind win against Hampden league flag fancy Cobden on Saturday, turning a seven-goal three-quarter-time deficit into a 40-37 win at Victoria Park.
Koroit coach Kate Dobson said the fightback showed character.
"Both teams were very depleted. Cobden had three out of their starting seven and we had at least two and not our normal bench because of the (Big V Warrnambool) Mermaids players being away," she said.
"It was a different battle I guess but the four points are so important at this time of the season because so many teams are depleted.
"We were with them all game but they had a bit of an edge. I felt we weren't far away and Kate Foster, while I was making all the positional changes at three-quarter-time, gave the girls a bit of a pump-up speech.
"It gave us some relief belief. Rachel Dobson came on in the last quarter and that was her only quarter in open and she shot 11 goals.
"But we had a lot of good players and you have to when you have an 10-goal turnaround."
Dobson said the Saints had players capable of stepping into their top team when required.
"We talked about our depth, our squad of div one and open," she said.
"We had Tayla McInerney play who is predominantly a div one player and she played a half. We had two under 17s (Millie Jennings and Scarlett O'Donnell) hold down wing defence and centre for the whole match and Rhiannon Everall, who is the div one coach and hasn't played open this year, played three quarters.
"We've run 14 players already through our open side so there's probably two or three spots there that are really up for grabs and I think we've shown we're not afraid to make changes. We know we've got the depth."
Cobden coach Sophie Hinkley said the game had positives, notably teenager Jess Bouchier's debut in goal shooter, and areas for improvement.
The Bombers, who were without regular goal shooter Emily Finch (ankle) and defensive duo Sarah Moroney and Nadine McNamara (both illness), led at all three breaks before being overrun in the final term.
"We had the same team for the entire game, just made some defensive changes and Koroit made a lot of changes at three-quarter-time that we didn't adapt to," Hinkley said.
"We had been playing really well for the first three quarters. I was really happy with the way the girls were implementing the feedback and working to our game plan and I think when we came out in the fourth quarter we didn't adapt and got sucked into the way our opponents wanted us to play.
"I resulted in a 10-goal deficit in the fourth quarter which was disappointing.
"It looked to me like we were tired physically and mentally and not able to think through those things individually."
Hinkley said Bouchier made a seamless transition into open netball.
"She played the full game and was really impressive," she said.
"She really held her own and gave us a more agile goal circle and I think that worked in our favour."
In other round five games, Hamilton Kangaroos broke through for their first win of the season, downing Terang Mortlake 50-38 after leading at every change.
Portland stunned North Warrnambool Eagles, winning 44-35, despite being three goals down at half-time.
Camperdown, which was just two goals up at the main break, charged home to defeat Port Fairy 60-43.
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