Slow starts were a bugbear South Warrnambool banished in booking its ticket to the Hampden league preliminary final.
The Roosters piled on the first nine goals of the first semi-final against a shell-shocked Portland, overcoming an issue which had plagued its previous three matches.
Offence and defence worked as one as the Mat Battistello-coached side, without starting midfielders Josh Saunders (injury) and Archie Stevens (VFL), sent a message to its premiership challengers.
It took until the eight-minute mark of the third term for Portland to kick its first goal, such was the Roosters' dominance in every facet of the game.
Battistello, who expects Saunders and Stevens to play in the preliminary final, encouraged his players to "dare to dream" post match after it set up a rematch with qualifying final opponent North Warrnambool Eagles in the penultimate game of the season.
"We are really excited we get to extend our year for another week at least and to do it in that fashion - we've always believed in our brand of footy and to come on a bigger deck and ratify some of the stuff we've been working on all year - was really pleasing," he said from Cobden Recreation Reserve after the 16.17 (113) to 3.3 (21) win.
South Warrnambool heeded lessons from its extra time loss to North Warrnambool eight days prior and started the cut-throat final with intent.
The Roosters' first goal through Shannon Beks, who finished with a game-high four, came after a 15-minute stalemate.
From there the floodgates opened. South had seven unanswered goals on the board at quarter-time and had sapped the Tigers' confidence.
"We had a great start the first time we played North and that was only three weeks ago but then there was a pattern starting to occur (of poor starts), so focus on that area and go out and perform like that was certainly less stressful on the coach," Battistello said.
"We were able to manage a lot of players. Last week was a real brutal game against North...and we ended up with 17 or 16 on the ground (against Portland) with 15 minutes to go."
Battistello said it was positive to watch his players play the game out against the Tigers and was content with their team defence on a bigger ground.
"I think that's part of the maturity of our group - with every game for our young kids, they get more experience," he said.
"They get to rehearse it for long periods of time and today they were able to execute for the whole two hours."
Battistello, whose young children were in the rooms post-game on Father's Day, said he was like a proud dad watching his players take another step forward.
"This young group hasn't had a lot of finals success but they've come through together and now they have given themselves an opportunity," he said.
"It (the win) was a great father's day present - when you coach boys you build a relationship with them so I feel like they are all my little sons - some more cheekier and some better behaved than others - but that's what great footy clubs are all about."
Portland coach Jarrod Holt was at a loss to explain the Tigers' performance, saying it was a disappointing way to end an otherwise positive season.
"What could I take out of it? I literally couldn't think of anything positive to take out of today," he said.
"They are a more mature side and played a lot more finals footy over the past few years but I thought we would've put on a better show than that.
"It feels embarrassing to say it now but I actually thought we were a chance today, honestly, but we were nowhere near it."
Holt said there was a sense of embarrassment among the coaches and playing group post-game and it "makes us feel like we're further back than we actually are".
"That's how we finish the year now," he said.
"If we had have put up more of a fight and been in the game at least, even if we still lost, we could take something out of it.
"We were just way off, there was not one facet where we were even close."
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