Werribee digs deep

Aidan Johnson starred in his return. (Belinda Vitacca Photography)

Tara Murray

Werribee has stamped itself as the Victorian Football League premiership favourite after a solid win against the Footscray Bulldogs.

The Tigers hosted the top of the table clash and were able to come away with the points, 10.9 (69)-7.4 (46).

Tigers coach Jimmy Allan said it was a really pleasing performance.

“The boys played really well,” he said. “It was a very good opposition and we were pleased to come away with the win.

“They have some quality AFL players in the side and some of their VFL players are as good as anyone.

“It was a real challenge… Defensively it was our most complete performance.”

The Tigers led by 14 points at the first break before extending it to 20 points at half time.

There was still not much between the teams in the third quarter, with the Tigers able to kick three goals to two for the term to extend the lead.

Allan said they needed to clean a few little things up at half time to shut the Bulldogs attacking options down.

They were able to do that.

“There were a lot of stoppages and it wasn’t a high inside 50 game for either team,” he said. “It was a big of slog.

“The boys did really well in the contested game on the ground and shut the opportunity down.

“The second half we had did really well and we stopped them going down the corridor in the second half.

“We took some chances in the first three quarters.”

The Bulldogs kicked the only goal of the final quarter, while the Tigers missed some chances.

Allan said they’d done enough to be able to come away with the win.

Aidan Johnson kicked three goals for the Tigers, while Hudson Garoni kicked two.

Dom Brew had 30 disposals, while Bior Malual and Nick Coughlan had 23 each.

Allan said Johnson was really good in his return from a bicep injury and provided them with a strong target.

Other standouts included Malual on a wing, Sam Conway in the ruck and Dom Brew did what he usually does.

Daly Andrews did some jobs in the middle of the ground, while Jack Henderson was another star in the middle.

Sam Azzi has come into the side the last couple of weeks and done a role in defence in the absence of Nathan Cooper.

Cooper is set to miss a number of weeks with syndesmosis. Allan said he wasn’t sure whether Cooper would have surgery or not.

“He will be out for a little bit of time,” he said. “Hopefully he’ll be back for finals.

“I think he is the best one on one defender n the competition. We have a void to fill with him missing, Sam Azzi has come in the last couple of weeks and looked good.”

The win has the Tigers sitting a game clear of top of the ladder.

While sitting top, Allan said they aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves.

“We are in good position,” he said. “It is a really hard competition and we have to keep backing it up each week.

“Id we drop off, we could lose a game or two and we’re right back in the pack. The challenge is to back it up now after beating one of the top sides.

The Tigers this week face Coburg, which sits in 18th spot, on Saturday at 1.05pm at Avalon Airport Oval.

Allan said they won’t be taking the Lions lightly.

“They are really good defensively,” he said. “They probably should have won another two or three games.

“Our guys mentioned that straight after the game. They respect them and identified that we need to play some good football.

“It is Louis Pinnuck’s 100th game this week as well.”