Rockbank’s struggles continued at the weekend, going down to Woodend Hesket in the Riddell District Football League.
For the third time this season, Rockbank failed to score a goal, with the toll of a number of injuries showing as the game progressed.
A number of Rockbank players had to play both reserves and seniors due to the lengthy injury list at the club, and the Hawks made full use of the fatigue on the way to a 43.21 (279)-0.2 (2) victory.
Rockbank coach Lachie Waterman said his side had to put the scoreboard out of their minds during the game and focus on improving areas of their own game.
“We’ve got eight or nine players out through injury, which has made it really tough for us,” Waterman said.
“That’s just the reality for us at the moment, but we’ve been focusing on a few key areas over the last month and we think we’re seeing some improvement there.
“Our centre bounce clearances have improved, and our kicking efficiency has also improved a lot, especially early in the game, so there’s some bright signs there.
“Rather than looking at the scoreboard all the time, if we can improve in a few areas that’s a little win for us. And we’ve got a fair few who haven’t played much senior footy for us, so there’s some education to be done there and getting used to playing together as well.”
The match got off to the perfect start for the visitors, with goals flowing early as the Rams struggled to stem the flow.
Tom O’Loughlin was particularly damaging as he kicked five goals from the wing in the opening term, almost half of the Rams 10.10 scoreline at quarter-time.
While the Rams had some good passages of play at times, they broke down when entering attack and the Hawks were able to rebound with purpose.
It was 150-1 at the long break, and while the Hawks scored less in the second half it was another dark day for the Rams.
O’Loughlin continued his strong work to finish with nine goals for the day, while 14 Hawks kicked majors in the rout.
For the Rams, Jordan Baumgartner continued his strong season to be the best for the home side, with Mark Lalli-Cafini (who played reserves and seniors) and Jake Mallia also toiling hard all day.
Despite the result, Waterman said morale was high at the club as they headed into a bye round and the second half of the season.
“The morale’s been pretty good really,” he said. “All the guys are getting to the club functions which is always good fun and good for the club.
“We’ll regroup over the bye, hopefully get a handful of players back and we can re-group before the next match.
“We’ll keep working on our game, and the aim is always to get a result which would be great for the boys and the club.”