AN opposition coach says one of the Hampden league's most dangerous players was a game-changer in challenging conditions on Saturday.
Warrnambool coach Ben Parkinson praised South Warrnambool forward Ricky Henderson for his four-goal performance in wet, muddy conditions at Friendly Societies' Park as the Roosters carved out an 8.8 (56) to 4.9 (33) win.
"The difference in the day was Ricky Henderson's class. He kicked four out of eight. I think he was probably the difference," he said.
"He was just in the right spots."
Warrnambool, which lost midfielder Damien McCorkell and defender Noah Turland to injury in the lead-up, was pleased with an improved effort against a top-five side after recent triple-figure losses.
"There was a lot of spirit back around the group," Parkinson said.
"I think we really stuck up for each other well. We never gave up at all and our tackling and one percenters were the highest for the year.
"It was probably that type of game and South's might be that way as well."
The game featured five debutants - three for the second-placed Roosters and two for the fifth-ranked Blues.
Sam Lenehan joined Cooper Miller and Xavier Mitchem in the side after Archie Stevens was called up to Carlton's VFL team where he kicked three goals from 18 disposals.
Sudanese-born Eddy Gattek and mid-season recruit Matt Holt who has "moved down from Queensland and landed on our door step" were the Blues' first-gamers.
Parkinson said Gattek, who played on a wing, deserved his chance while backman Holt appeared a handy addition.
"He was pretty strong over the ball and the more he plays and gets to know the boys a bit more, I think he'll be a good acquisition," he said.
Warrnambool suffered another injury blow with experienced defender Tim O'Keeffe hurting his hamstring but in positive news creative forward Luke Cody played in the reserves and got through unscathed after an injury layoff and could come into the selection frame next weekend.
South Warrnambool defender Harry Lee was also hurt, helped off the ground in the first quarter, in the game which saw the Roosters respond from just their second loss of the season a week prior.
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