Bacchus Marsh showed some positive signs in the second half of its loss to Darley, but the Cobras remain without a win after two rounds of the Ballarat Football League.
After a poor first half against arch-rival Darley, the Cobras found another level in the third quarter to work back into the game.
While the Cobras pushed hard in the fourth quarter, injuries took their toll.
The Devils did enough to win, 12.15 (87)-10.10 (70).
Cobras coach Pete Davey said they had a good chat at half-time, which sparked the improved performance.
“Things are going in the right direction,” he said.
“Our second half was much better than what we have seen so far this season.
“We had a chat before the game and one at half-time.
“We want to play for each other and we want to walk off the ground and look each other in the eye, knowing that we did everything we could to get a good result.
“We attacked the contest and brought the margin back, but we were always chasing tails.”
It was an undermanned Cobras who took to the field, with three late withdrawals including Harrison King with a hamstring injury. Jake DeWinter and Matthew Chisari were dropped for disciplinary reasons.
Game day did not start well as Tom Brownbridge went down with a knee injury early in the game.
Jake Owen then injured an ankle in the second quarter. While he played out the game, Davey admits he probably shouldn’t have.
Despite the injuries, the Cobras fought on and got back into the game on the back of ruckman Daniel Burton.
Burton, who won last year’s Henderson Medal, again showed why he’s among the best players in the competition.
“He broke the game open in the third quarter in the ruck and kicked three goals,” Davey said.
“He was phenomenal and was clearly the best big man on the ground, if not best on ground.”
Burton joined the injury list late in the game, not helping the Cobras hopes of completing the comeback.
Davey said they were able to stick to the game plan for the whole second half, having managed to do that for just 25 minutes in round one.
“It’s quite a different game plan and they’re just adjusting to it,” he said.
“There’s good signs and we had a chat about things and everyone is on the same page.”
Davey said Jacob Chisari and Thomas Wardell were the other standouts.
The task doesn’t get any easier for the Cobras this weekend, when they face last season’s runners-up Melton.
The Bloods were well beaten in the grand final rematch with East Point on Saturday.
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