Werribee got back to basics – and it worked – as it returned to the winners list in the Victorian Football League.
Coming off its worst performance in a number of weeks against Port Melbourne, Werribee was keen to make amends against North Melbourne on Saturday.
Werribee started well, and despite not making the most of its opportunities, led at the first break.
While the Kangaroos came hard in the second quarter, Werribee was able to maintain its nerve and extend the lead heading into half time.
Werribee continued to keep the pressure on in the second half, to seal the 15.15 (105)-9.4 (58) win.
Werribee assistant coach Tom Perrett said it was pleasing to see how the boys responded after the previous round.
“We were looking for a response from the boys particularly early in the game, we thought we crawled out of the blocks last week,” he said.
“It was one of our focus areas to come out and bring genuine heat around the footy and just bring the contest to the game early and we felt as if we did that and that led to us having opportunities to score early.
“Unfortunately we kicked 1.3 from set shots in the first quarter, [which is] something we will address during the week.
“Creating those scoring opportunities was pleasing.”
Perrett said unlike the previous week, the boys were able to prevent the opposition to get a run on when they had control.
He said while the Kangaroos had periods of dominance, it didn’t reflect on the scoreboard.
“I think the most impressive thing for us was times, periods in the game when we were challenged, perhaps the opposition was able to own the ball,” he said.
“Our ability to scramble, defend and make sure they weren’t able to to take momentum put on too much scoreboard damage through those patches of the game were really pleasing.
“Last week we could see it happening, but it was like we were too slow to react last week and were 40 points down at half time.
“Whereas today there were patches of the game where they did control it, however we wore those shots and were able to respond in return.”
Jay Dahlaus, Kye Declase and Logan Wagener all kicked three goals in the win.
Keegan Gray, Wagener and Dom Brew were named best.
Perrett said he was really pleased with the performance of the forward line, particularly that of Wagener.
“Our forwards at ground level were the highlight for me, creating those goals from nothing,” he said.
“We had a focus as a forward group making sure at the very worst to get the ball to ground and making sure we numbered up and got involved at ground level.
“With a late in, Logan Wagener came in today. He finds out 10 minutes before the game that he is going to be coming in and kicks three goals, that was brilliant, shows what type of competitive mindset he has as a player prepared to step in and do his job.”
Co-captain Dom Brew said he was pretty proud of how the group weathered the storm.
He said they returned to playing the type of footy they know they can play well.
“They come at us in the second quarter there and late in the first as well, every team will have their five, 10 minutes,” he said.
“I’m pretty proud of the boys for how we handled it and stepped up to the plate.
“This week honed it right back and got back to playing the way we play, getting back on the same page and continuing our good patch the last five weeks we are now 5-1.
“Obviously we would like to kick a bit straighter, but I can assure you we are doing some goal kicking but the boys we could back to who we are.”
Brew thought it was a real good team effort, but touched on the performances of Jack Driscoll on Callum Coleman-Jones and Keegan Gray.
The win moves Werribee into the top eight after 15 rounds.
This week Werribee faces Coburg.