Werribee returns to the winners list

Matt Hanson returned on Sunday. (Belinda Vittaca Photography)

Tara Murray

The hard work Werribee did during its bye week paid off in the Victorian Football League on Sunday.

Having worked on some game things during the break, it was a different looking Werribee side against the GWS Giants at Giants Stadium.

Werribee led throughout the 16.11 (107)-8.6 (54) win, the side’s third of the season.

Coach Michael Barlow said the group made the most of their time off.

“We had 15 days between the last game and this game,” he said.

“We pretty much focused on making the most of it. We had four training sessions and looked to execute game style stuff.

“We revised some of the game style stuff that had deserted us a little bit.

“There was a good attitude on the track and we had a lot of player-led activities and let them drive things.”

Werribee had its best first quarter of the season, with eight scoring shots. Barlow missed the early action.

“It was a good start,” he said. “I got stuck in the lift the first five minutes and couldn’t get up to the coaches box.

“We had kicked two straight by the time we got up there. Maybe I have to do that more often.”

While happy with the first quarter, Barlow said the second quarter let them down again.

He said it was something that they needed to address.

“We’ve had a trend and our second quarters haven’t been great,” he said.

“There’s enough of a sample size to look into and address it now.

“We opened up opportunities for the Giants. A fair bit of it was conversion, we need to put the foot on the throat on the scoreboard.

“It left us vulnerable.”

Barlow said the second half was much better, but they still had work to do.

Hudson Garoni kicked three goals, while Jay Dahlhaus, Oliver Hanrahan, Matt Hanson and Kye Declase kicked two a piece.

Hanson had 34 possessions, while co-captain Tom Gribble had 30 possessions.

Barlow said it was the leaders that really stood up.

“The maturity of the playing group was really good,” he said. “The leaders took control which was really good.

“They all put in some work led by Tom Gribble who has been really good all year.

“He himself tidied up some elements of his game during the week and they all jumped in behind him.

“Others worked on areas of their games, Dom Brew was back to his best around the ball.”

Barlow said the return of Hanson and Nick Coughlan had made a massive impact as well. It was Coughlan’s first game of the season, Hanson’s fifth.

He said they were the two that held them in good stead when the moment was shifting in the second quarter.

The win moves Werribee to 14th on the ladder, two games outside the top eight.

Werribee this week faces Collingwood on Sunday at Avalon Airport Oval.

Barlow said they were keen for the challenge.

“Collingwood are coming off and are second on the ladder,” he said.

“It’s another challenge for us. It’s also a TV game and for our guys we don’t get that exposure that often, which is good.”