Three in a row and feeling good.
That is the message coming from the Werribee Tigers after a stellar come-from-behind win over Collingwood in Wangaratta at the weekend shot them into the top eight, with a chance to solidify that position before the bye.
The Pies shot out of the blocks to open up a 47-point lead five minutes into the second quarter, but in a VFL win full of character the Tigers showed coach John Lamont what they were made of.
“You probably look at the score and think that one side is dominating, but it wasn’t like that at all,” Lamont said.
“We had enough of the footy, but made critical errors going forward. Once we corrected that, we were able to get back into it.
“To give up the first eight goals of the game and come away with the win was very pleasing.”
Werribee gave a good impression of being stuck on the Hume Highway during the first quarter, as Collingwood kicked all seven goals for the term and the Tigers managed just two behinds.
Collingwood added another goal early in the second quarter to get out to a 49-2 advantage before the Tigers began their comeback.
Cameron Zurhaar got the ball rolling with a calm set shot from 40 metres out.
From there, the Tigers clawed their way back into the game through smart midfield play from Andrew Swallow and Jordan Jones.
The Tigers kicked seven goals to three for the quarter to bridge the gap.
With the Pies’ resistance waning, the Tigers took the lead for the first time 20 minutes into the third.
Werribee was benefitting from strong run out of defence from Ryley Barrack as the midfield collective of Swallow, Matt Hanson and Tom Gribble began to dominate.
Six unanswered goals either side of three-quarter time set up a match-winning lead.
Collingwood kicked the final two majors of the match, but it was too little too late as the Tigers celebrated their third win on the trot with a 17.10 (112)-15.11 (101) scoreline.
Lamont lauded the evenness of his side’s performance, particularly after quarter-time.
“We couldn’t just leave it to half a dozen blokes to turn that around,” he said.
“We had a lot of guys who, when they needed to, stood up under some pressure … it was a really even contribution, as you would expect, to overhaul an eight-goal deficit.”
Lamont said the chance to get away as a team had benefits for his side beyond the win.
“We’ve got a number of players who reside originally from that part of the world, so they were able to reconnect with family which is good for them,” he said.
“And the boys were able to stay up there on Saturday night and spend a bit of time together after a win – a real positive for the group.”
The win lifted Werribee to seventh on the ladder, with winless North Ballarat to come this weekend ahead of the competition bye.
Lamont said it was important the Tigers kept their momentum rolling
“We were looking down the barrel a bit at 0-2 to start the season, so to string three together is a good comeback,” he said.
“Getting wins in the bank is important after the start we had, so we’re in a really positive place now.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for North Ballarat, but they’re in a tough spot by the look of the scores against them.
“Hopefully, we can maintain our little winning streak before the bye.”