Werribee was given the whack it deserved in a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of previously winless North West Lightning in Hockey Victoria men’s Vic League 1 in Bendigo on Saturday.
The Tigers got a reminder that hockey matches are not won on paper and nothing less than a peak performance will suffice in a tough competition.
Tigers co-coach Jayden Street was disappointed with the laissez-faire approach of his team.
“Going up to their home ground, we might have got a bit complacent,” he said. “We didn’t come with our best hockey and it probably cost us. To play a team a bit lower on the ladder, we were hoping to come out with a good result.
“Things didn’t go our way and we didn’t play the game of hockey we would’ve liked to.”
The biggest contrast in the game was between the pressure applied by the two sides. While every Werribee possession was met with resistance, the Lightning were afforded space to move and made full use of it.
“Their effort and intensity towards the ball was a bit higher than ours,” Street said. “They stuck to their structures a bit more in the game. That’s something we’ll have to rectify during training.”
If there was a positive for Werribee, it was the performances of emerging players Daniel Manzie and Jacob Friedl.
Manzie scored the Tigers’ only goal and was constantly presenting up front.
Friedl did his best work on the last line, his defensive efforts stemming the bleeding somewhat.
Werribee is a mid-table team after six rounds. The Tigers have a mixed bag of results with two wins, three losses and a draw, so their season is at a crossroad. They will be eager to claim a scalp when they travel to third-placed PEGS on Saturday.
“We expect for them to come well drilled and be on their game from the start,” Street said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re switched on from the very start.”
In women’s Vic League 1, Werribee was full of grit in a 4-4 draw with North West Lightning.
The Tigers were bruised through three injuries picked up during the game, but they refused to wave the white flag.
“It was a real tough effort by the girls,” Street said. “They were a bit undermanned, but played a really good game.”
Holly Stewart was outstanding for Werribee with two goals, while Taia Di Natale and co-coach Sam Winch also scored.