Werribee Wins Battle Of Tigers
Werribee proved they are the superior breed of Tiger on Saturday, going to Coburg and defeating them by 51 points, as Adem Saricaoglu reports.
In a surprisingly high-scoring game, Werribee reached triple figures before three-quarter time and were able to keep Coburg at bay from start to finish.
Werribee jumped out of the blocks from the start and managed to kick six first quarter goals to establish a 20-point quarter time lead.
With rain teeming down at the start of the second, Werribee continually found space across half forward to create scoring opportunities and expose holes in Coburg’s defence.
Leigh Harding was particularly impressive, goaling from 50 to extend the lead to 25 halfway through the quarter.
Coburg’s strong marking up forward from Luke McGuane, Dan Connors and Tom Derrickx promised to keep them in touch, but wayward kicking kept letting Werribee off the hook.
They paid for it when Ben Ross again found space at half forward to extend Werribee’s lead to five goals just before halftime.
McGuane and Werribee’s Nathan Grima both goaled soon after the main break before momentum shifted in Coburg’s favour.
Three goals in seven minutes to Todd Elton, Brett O’hanlon and Connors suddenly had Coburg back in the game, with its 32-point deficit whittled down to 14 by the 17-minute mark.
The slippery conditions provided for an error-riddled game for most of the afternoon, and during the third term Werribee were committing most of the mistakes.
Despite this Werribee hung on, and were eventually rewarded with a goal to steady the ship.
While golden opportunities went begging for Coburg, Werribee added another three goals to Coburg’s one and by three-quarter time had restored their five-goal buffer.
Coburg’s wayward goal-kicking continued into the last term, and they were ultimately punished for it again when Ben Warren slotted back-to-back goals to ice the game.
After the game Werribee coach Scott West was pleased with his side effort to match Coburg at the contest.
“We were probably able to get away from them in the contested areas quite well and get it into a little bit of space – that really helped,” West said.
West denied his side dropped off after halftime, instead crediting Coburg with lifting its intensity.
“To come from behind and win you have to actually to take it up to (the opposition), and that would have been put on them to say you’ve got a half of footy to claw this back,” he said.
“There’s an intensity line in footy. They went above it a little bit (during the third quarter), and we probably stayed at that same level so we had to match it, and in the end we did.
“They got a couple of goals but we were able to withstand it and push on and end up being up by four and half goals at three-quarter time.”
To make matters worse for Coburg, ruckman Ben Griffiths (knee) and defender Piva Wright (ankle) were both assisted off the field in the second half, as injuries again impacted Coburg’s rotations.
Coach Adam Potter was disappointed after the game, but did take positives out of it.
“Our endeavour in and around the contest was good, we tackled well and we won our fair share of clearances,” Potter said.
Potter then pinpointed where he thought it all went wrong.
“It was probably more from there (clearances); we probably turned it over and their ability to hurt us going the other way on the spread,” he said.
“They had 15-plus more inside-50s, which hurt us, so it’s something we need to look at. Some of our turnovers really hurt us.”
Warren topped Werribee with four goals for the day while McGuane managed four for Coburg.
Ross, Lachlan Hansen and Harding were among Werribee’s best, while Leigh Masters, Nathan Thomas and Willie Wheeler featured in Coburg’s best players.
Next week Coburg goes to North Ballarat on Saturday while Werribee will also be back on the road, playing Frankston on Sunday.