Rupertswood primed itself for finals action in the Riddell District Football League and on Saturday the Sharks showed that they mean business.
Having had a nightmare of a finals series 12 months ago, the Sharks took a different approach to get everyone peaking at the right time.
It has paid off, with the Sharks now one win away from a grand final.
Sharks coach Nick Ash said they had been building to this time of year.
“We’ve done things a little big differently to last year with training and our loads throughout the year,” he said.
“We had a lull there, with a bit of a heavier work load on the boys.
“We knew come finals we wanted everyone on the park, so we rested blokes throughout the year do to that during finals and today we want in with pretty much full list.”
The decision paid off, with the Sharks comprehensively beating Macedon in elimination final.
The Sharks got the jump early and were able to maintain that throughout, winning 18.7 (115)-9.11 (65).
Ash said it was always handy to get out to a good start.
“When you play good sides, always want to start well,” he said.
“They had an opportunity to start well and kick a goal in the first 10 seconds of the game.
“They kick that it could have been a different story. We were lucky to get enough a few goals on the board before they kicked one, it was really pleased able to keep going through the rest of the day.”
The Cats had some moments of really good football, especially in the second quarter, but they weren’t able to convert.
It was a closer second half, with the Sharks still able to extend their lead.
Nick Grigg kicked four goals for the Sharks, with Luke Cannon kicking three goals.
The most pleasing thing for the Sharks and Ash was the spread across the board.
“It was a solid effort from everyone and I think everyone played their role and their part
“Putty’s [Dean Putt] effort in the ruck all day was incredible against the league’s best ruck man
“We’ve rested him a fair bit during the year to make sure he’s right and ready to go. “
The Sharks now face Diggers Rest in a semi final for the spot in the grand final.
The Burras have won both matches between the sides this year.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” Ash said.
“They are last year’s premiers as well…. They’ve been there done that with experience on their side.
“They know what it takes, we’re building and we have to make sure we come ready to play.”
It could be a tough time at selection time, with Billy Cannolo to return from VFL duties this week.
It was a good weekend for Rupertswood, with all three football sides getting wins.
All three will play off for a grand final spot this week.
Ash said it showed the strength of the club.
He said it was an even performance in the under-19s, while Leigh Wellington was clearly best on ground in the reserves.
“It shows the strength of the club that blokes are going out and play good footy,” he said.
“It’s a hard side [the seniors] to break into and that’s what we wanted to create at Rupertswood.”