WARRNAMBOOL coach Ben Parkinson says his team will heed lessons from a "reality check" after being outplayed by "the benchmark of the competition".
The Blues conceded seven unanswered goals in the first quarter at Reid Oval on Friday night, on their way to a humbling 22.15 (147) to 2.10 (22) defeat.
"We were clearly beaten in every facet of the game. We don't think we're as good as them but we've been playing some OK footy but it's a real reality check for us," he said post game.
"We have some work to do and I was just saying to the boys that they (Koroit) really run with purpose and they run hard even if it's only for five metres, they run hard and make you make a decision."
Koroit, which requested its Hampden league home game from Victoria Park be moved to the Blues' base to get some exposure on the new surface, advanced to an 8-1 win-loss record on the back of slick ball movement and the ability to stick to structures.
Saints coach Chris McLaren labelled the win "magnificent".
"There is a risk element about taking a home game to the opponent's home ground and we spoke about it and said 'boys, you know what's going to happen if we don't win', we'll be told we're getting big heads giving games away," he said.
Agile key forward Sam Dobson was a beneficiary of the Saints' dominance up the field, finishing with nine goals, while live-wire Will Couch contributed six.
Next generation players Tom Baulch, Mac Petersen and creative forward Jyron Neave were impressive as was Jayden Whitehead.
"Our leaders stepped up and the younger and less experienced players are jumping on their coattails and doing exactly what we want them to do," McLaren said.
"Jakey McCosh comes in (for Jeremy Hausler) and does exactly what we want him to do and competes in the ruck and we take 'Tex' (Jarrod Korewha) out of the forward line and 'Couchy' (Will Couch) kicks six.
"And Sam does what he does all the time and Jayden has found it hard to cement his spot over the years and that is one the best games he's played for a long time."
A battle within the battle was Ethan Boyd's task on Sam Dobson.
The teenage Blue was chosen given his strong aerobic capacity.
Parkinson said it was a match-up which would benefit the NAB League-listed player in the long run.
"Ethan has played six or seven senior games and he's playing on probably the best player in the comp in Sam Dobson," he said.
"We put him on him because Ethan has a good tank, he can run, and he still had full hamstring and calf cramps in the last quarter.
"Sam just blows his opponents up with his work rate. His work rate is probably way better than any other forward.
"It was a real learning night for Ethan and I thought he did a great job.
"Ethan will get so much out of that. He probably won't play on anyone who runs as hard or jumps at the ball as hard and it's not just up the ground - it's back when they haven't got it, it's across the ground.
"I said to him earlier in the week when I thought about it that it's a huge task for you but he was really keen and said 'I'll learn a lot' and that's a perfect attitude."
Dobson was impressed with Boyd's dedication to his role.
"I reckon he's going to be a little star. He's 16 or 17 and I thought he ran well and his body work was good," he said.
Both sides had late withdrawals with Saints full-back Tim McPherson (back) sidelined while a trio of Blues - forward Sam Cowling (knee) and wingers Paddy Anderson and Jackson Bell (both hamstring tightness) - were key omissions.
The Blues also had Luke Cody (ankle), Damian McCorkell (illness) and Otto Opperman (tight calf) in trouble throughout the game.
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