Made to pay

It was a tough night for Werribee. (Belinda Vitacca Photography)

Tara Murray

Werribee was punished for a terrible half of football by Port Melbourne which ended Werribee’s four game winning streak in the Victorian Football League.

The first half, in which Werribee was kept goalless, was one of the side’s worst performances of the season.

While Werribee was able to get back into the game in the second half and had their chances to win, coach Michael Barlow said they didn’t deserve to get the four points.

Port Melbourne won, 9.7 (61)-7.16 (58).

“I think first of all, we have to give credit to Port Melbourne,” he said. “They came with a plan and they implemented it from the start.

“They took the game on early and took it away from us in the first half. We lacked polish and things we’ve been doing for the last four weeks deserted us for 60 minutes of the game.”

While the first half was one to forget for Werribee, it showed plenty of good signs in the second half.

Barlow said they were pleased with the ability of the players to turn around the game.

“At half time we were pretty calm,” he said. “We knew that there were two or three things that we had to tidy up which were pretty evident.

“We brought ourselves back into the game kicking 7.10 to 2.3 which showed we played some pretty good football. From my view, we didn’t deserve to win and it was somewhat karma with the result.”

Inaccurate goal kicking continued to frustrate Werribee and Barlow. He said it was an area that they needed to continue, having cost them multiple wins this season.

“After 11 games we’ve got a clear understanding of the work we need to do in front of goal,” he said.

“We’re getting opportunities in front of goal which is good, but the clear hard facts are it [poor conversion] probably cost us three games.

“There’s an element of coaching for that to work and creating programs for that to improve. And it’s also the players.

“We could handle losing one game through poor conversion, but three is frustrating.”

Jay Dahlaus, Shuan Mannagh and Ariek Lual kicked two goals each for Werribee.

Matt Hanson had plenty of the ball with 36 possessions, while Tom Gribble had 32 possessions.

Barlow said the standouts for his side were few and far between.

“Port Melbourne had 18 or 19 players that really fulfilled their roles and got the job done, we were the opposite,” he said.

“Nick Coughlan was massive down back and really stood up. He has been building to his best form.

“Jack Henderson in the middle was another. He was OK at half time. He then did a job for us on Eli Templeton.

“He was getting away from us. He went to Eli and was able to nullify his impact which we hadn’t been able to do in the first half.”

The loss leaves them sitting in 11th spot, two points outside the top eight.

Barlow said he hadn’t looked too match ahead and where they are in the scheme of things.

“It’s part of the year where you look to build your season,” he said. “You’ve got the cold weather and wetter part of the year.

“There’s illness and injuries thrown at you too. You’ve got guys getting opportunities after great local form.

“We have lapses and deficiencies that we have to work through if we want to play finals.”

Werribee this week face North Melbourne on Saturday afternoon at Avalon Airport Oval.