Absorbing from the opening bounce until the final siren.
Koroit's blockbuster Hampden league clash against North Warrnambool Eagles at Victoria Park in front of a monster crowd had it all - high marks, crunching tackles, swift momentum swings and just the right blend of skill and bravery.
The Saints prevailed 12.14 (86) to 8.5 (53) against the Eagles, clawing back from a half-time deficit to extend their dominance at the top-of-the-table.
It looked as if the Saints might have their way after storming to a 23-point quarter time lead and with star big man Nathan Vardy leaving the field moments in and not returning.
But a dynamic second-term, built off forward pressure, direct football and clever forward nous saw the visitors not only reel the deficit back but claw in front at the major break.
Saints coach Chris McLaren said he was proud of the side's response after half-time with the Saints kicking away with seven goals to one in the second half.
"At half-time we wanted to focus on what we did well in the first quarter," he said.
"When you're coaching against Adam (Dowie) you're focusing on what he's going to be doing.
"We quickly switched to what we did well. I thought to the boys' credit they did really well so I'm proud of their efforts."
Debutant Finn O'Sullivan was one of many youngsters to provide plenty of spark for the Saints.
"We're not sure how much footy we're going to get out of him, he's impressive" McLaren said.
"We had four under 18s in the team and they all contributed well at different times - Curran O'Donnell kicked a super important goal, some of Connor Byrne's pressure was great, Jamie Lloyd as well.
"The senior players have really trusted them and that fills them with a lot of confidence."
Paddy O'Sullivan, Liam Hoy and Jeremy Hausler were others to star for the home side. Tim McLaren was reliable as usual in his 100th match.
McLaren said the group had control over the game aside from the second term where the Eagles slammed on six goals to one.
"Although it did feel like we had a lot of control for a big chunk, we did lose our way in the second quarter, but to the boys' credit we slowly rectified that in the second," he said.
"When you play good teams they'll get a run, will get territory and score against you. We spoke about embracing that and enjoying the challenge of playing a really good, well coached footy team."
Ben Dobson did a hamstring early in the piece for the Saints, while the home team also lost Jarrod Korewha to a shoulder issue with McLaren confirming the pair would be assessed over the bye.
Eagles coach Adam Dowie said he couldn't fault the effort of his side.
"We spoke about it after the game, it's a good indication of the two sides," he said.
"We think we can match it with any side, even Koroit and we showed that today - it would have been nice to win the toss, we'll have to work on that.
"Our second quarter was really good and we linked up well and used it well - to get back in front at half-time showed a lot of character. There was a lot of heat in the game so to respond was really good.
"There's areas to work on, we were a bit undisciplined at times, but we flew the flag which is great - a couple of goals from fifties were disappointing but it was a great effort."
The Eagles mentor said big man Nathan Vardy would miss some footy after injuring his groin in the early exchanges of the match and not returning.
Sports reporter with The Standard
Sports reporter with The Standard
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