All that was missing for Hoppers Crossing was the crowd chanting “de-fence”.
The Warriors’ defence was at its hard-nosed best on Saturday, strangling the life out of Spotswood in a 70-point win in Western Region Football League division 1 at Hogans Road Reserve.
Warriors coach Steven Kretiuk described the defensive effort of his team as “one of our best” for the season.
“To keep Spotty to six shots on goal – it’s back to what we do best,” he said.
Hoppers Crossing is becoming a bit of a bogey side for Spotswood.
As with Hoppers Crossing’s own struggles against Deer Park, the Woodsmen cannot find a way past the Warriors’ water-tight defence.
In two meetings with the Warriors this season, Spotswood has managed to kick a combined nine goals – six in the first meeting and three on Saturday.
That’s one goal every 26 minutes.
On Saturday, Hoppers Crossing was on from the outset and never appeared threatened.
“We really set ourselves after a fantastic week on the training track,” Kretiuk said.
Hoppers Crossing swung the axe after its heavy defeat to Deer Park, with five changes bringing a bit of energy back to the Warriors.
“Losses can be beneficial if you learn from them,” Kretiuk said.
“In our review, we spoke about a couple of things, particularly the wind. We certainly didn’t handle it at all well last week, where Deer Park did.”
Against Spotswood, six first-quarter goals by Hoppers Crossing – into the wind – showed that the Warriors would not make the same mistakes again.
The Woodsmen kicked one goal to quarter-time and were never going to come back from there.
The win keeps Hoppers Crossing’s double-chance hopes alive.
Seeing homegrown Jordan Cook have a huge influence over the game put a smile on the Hoppers Crossing fans faces.
Cook made his mark in the seniors as a running defender, but he has been frustrated by persistent hamstring injuries in the past 18 months.
He seems to be over his injury worries and has found a new home as a forward.
“He’s been really important for us over the last month and he’s only going to get better,” Kretiuk said.
The experienced trio of Matthew Smith, Reece Miles and Mathew Ryan had a major say in proceedings.
Smith, like Cook, is running into some good form in the second half of the year after overcoming injury woes with a shoulder
“He’s got that hard edge,” Kretiuk said. “Pound for pound he’s probably our strongest player on our list. He’s strong in the contest and keeps his feet and has clean hands.”
Braden Ferrari put the icing on a sweet cake for Hoppers Crossing with four goals.
Elsewhere, Werribee Districts fell out of the top five after a 56-point loss to Deer Park. It could be do or die for the Tigers when they travel to Spotswood on Saturday.
In division 2, Manor Lakes piled on the first seven goals but was still made to work hard for a 36-point win over Newport Power.
In division 3, Tarneit defeated Sanctuary Lakes by 12 points, while Wyndham Suns pummelled Laverton by 90 points.