COBDEN is taking belief into its clash against Terang Mortlake after outscoring a Hampden league flag contender in two quarters on Saturday.
The Bombers fought back against North Warrnambool Eagles after conceding six unanswered goals in the first term, kicking eight goals to four in the next two quarters to be just 22 points down at the final change.
The Eagles regained their composure in the final term, running out 15.15 (105) to 9.4 (58) winners, but the Bombers showed enough glimpses to excite coach Dan Casey.
He said the improvement was built off the players' commitment.
"They are driving the standards and it's stuff they've learnt off other teams and other coaches," he said.
"After the game Jack Hutt and Paul Pekin talked to the players out on the ground about how proud they were of the standard we're setting at the moment.
"Now we know what 110 per cent looks like for us. We have to get in our minds that we're playing a Koroit or North every week, it doesn't matter who our opposition is, and set that standard.
"We're looking forward to next week and onwards because we know what we can play like now."
Casey said the Bombers showed resilience to bounce back after a shaky start.
"Our supporters said how proud they were of our group," he said.
"We lost Paul Pekin in the first quarter to a calf injury and Tyler Humphrey didn't play - he had a crook hip - so we had no ruckman so we had to put Louis Cahill and Ollie Darcy who are six foot against Ben Mugavin and Nathan Vardy. They did a bloody good job.
"But our midfielders, it was probably the best game I have seen them play. I was really proud of our guys' efforts after quarter-time."
Cobden will embrace lessons from the fluctuating contest.
"We brought them in (at quarter-time) and talked to them about how we want to play and to try and stop North's runners and I thought in the second quarter we played really, really well," Casey said.
"The third quarter had that feel that we could overrun them but we're probably not quite there yet."
Eagles coach Adam Dowie was full of praise for the Bombers.
"They were undersized in the ruck but it didn't seem to stop them, they started winning clearances and started looking dangerous forward," he said. "It was game on at three-quarter-time and even eight minutes into the last quarter it was 20 points the difference."
Casey praised defender Christian Koroneos for his contest with Nathan Vardy, who kicked six goals.
"It was such a good battle to watch and you can see why Nathan played AFL, he kicked a couple of goals from nothing and is just so strong but their one-on-ones duels, Christian won a a majority of them," he said.
"It was probably his best game all season for us."
Dowie said the Eagles had "things to work on" but were slowly putting the pieces together. He is hopeful forward Dylan Parish will return in coming weeks.
He said Tom James suffered a head knock early and spent time in hospital.
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