BEN Goodall stepped in as Koroit co-coach on Saturday but remains unsure when he'll rejoin his Saints' teammates on the field.
The eight-time Hampden league premiership player - along with former player Ben Walsh - led the Saints to a 13.9 (87) to 4.7 (31) victory over the previously-undefeated Portland in the absence of coach Chris McLaren who was at home with COVID-19.
The pair helped orchestrate a strong performance against the Tigers - who were aiming for eight straight wins - keeping them goalless in three of the four quarters at Victoria Park.
Goodall, who is hoping to play an on-field role in the Saints' 2022 premiership quest, said he loved being back in the inner sanctum.
"It's still a bit off," he said of his potential comeback.
"At my age I need everything to be going right and it's probably not at the moment.
"If I get back and play, it'll be a bonus. I am just really enjoying being involved again and doing this."
Koroit held sway for most of the contest. Its ability to control the back line was telling with Ben Dobson the general while Paddy O'Sullivan was hard around the contest and creative when in space.
Up forward, emerging small Connor Byrne kicked four and agile key position player Sam Dobson, who took a screamer on the wing in the final term, contributed four too.
"Ben was able to get back and mark the ball in their back half a lot," Goodall said.
"We started a lot of our attacks through him."
Portland, known and regarded for its attacking mindset, was on the back foot early and was limited to just three points at the main break.
But, given it was a low-scoring half, was still in the contest. Sam Hampshire kicked the Tigers' first and Tom Sharp kicked another three in a stirring third term for the visitors.
The margin was a gettable 21 points at the final change but Koroit, as it has done many times before, accelerated away, kicking five unanswered goals.
"They do like to keep speed on the ball so it was our focus to try and get the ball back as soon as we could," Goodall said.
"I thought we were able to defend well early on and we did speak about if we could make them defend for long periods of time, eventually we would score."
Portland coach Jarrod Holt conceded the Tigers lacked their usual spark.
"The way we started was disappointing. We went away from what works for us," he said.
"We tried to play too safe and stood back waiting."
Holt was pleased with the Tigers' ability to wrest momentum back in the next two quarters.
"I thought we were right in the game then and I thought we'd defended well up until that point," he said.
"In the last quarter we fell away a little bit and they were able to kick tough goals."
A highlight for the Tigers was Toby Jennings' aerial work.
The midfielder took two special marks in the third and fourth quarters.
"I am all for it. He's an exceptional mark for a little fella," Holt, who praised defenders Nathan Haylock and Josh Edwards for their efforts too, said.
"He does it a lot. It would be a rare for a week to go by where he doesn't go for one.
"It's exciting and he's good at it so we let him go. The more the better I reckon."
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