Werribee crashed back down to earth with a disappointing loss to North Melbourne in the Victorian Football League on Saturday.
Having won its past four matches, Werribee was looking to keep the momentum going against an improving Kangaroos side but it was made to pay for playing inconsistent football.
Werribee trailed early, before hitting the front in the second quarter.
Werribee led by 14 points early in the third quarte, with the Kangaroos down to 20 fit men. Despite this, the Kangaroos kicked the next six goals.
A last quarter comeback by Werribee fell short, with the Kangaroos taking the win, 14.4 (88)-12.11 (83).
Werribee coach Michael Barlow said they were made to pay for not putting a full four quarters together.
He said it was disappointing for them to let North back into the game in the third quarter having gained momentum.
“It was a huge result for North and they came with a competitive spirit and attitude which we couldn’t match,” he said.
“There was a bit of attitude from our point of view in that and a bit of method around the tackle and being able to absorb pressure. North came for a dog fight and their intention was clear early and credit to them jumped us with a quick start before our bums had hit the seats.
“You can’t really get the result when you essentially play one and half quarters of football and don’t match the intensity consistently enough.
“Realistically, if we had pinched it there at the end, was it a band aid over a performance that shows we have a lot of work to do.”
Barlow said poor starts continued to be a problem for the side and something the players and the coaches would need to think about over the next couple of weeks.
“It’s not good enough to rock up to a game, the most important two hours of the week, and sacrifice 15 minutes of it.”
Barlow said they were also hurt by turnovers which directly led to four or five goals.
Wylie Buzza, Hudson Garoni and Shaun Mannagh kicked two goals a piece for Werribee.
Matt Hanson had 21 disposals in the win, while Bior Malual had 17 disposals.
The game marked the milestones for three Werribee players.
Tom Gribble played his 100th game for the club.
Dom Brew played his 50th VFL game. Barlow said he was a pleasure to coach.
“We know what we get off Brewey every day. Another eight tackles today, he would acknowledge that it wasn’t his best day but he is one you throw the magnet up every week that he will compete.”
One of the more pleasing performances in the loss was that of local debutant Connor Thar. He had 11 possessions including two key passes that resulted in goals.
Barlow said the playing group could take notice of Thar’s efforts.
“Connor showed he’s at the level and has been knocking on the door,” he said.
“It’s someone others can look to as that’s how we want to execute with ball in hand.”
Werribee has a bye this weekend, before facing Casey Scorpions.
Barlow said they had a lot of areas to work on during the break.