SMW Rovers finish strong to claim points against Great Western

Kane Tolliday
Kane Tolliday

SMW Rovers have kept their slim finals hopes alive with a 54-point win against Great Western on Saturday.

It was the visitors who jumped out to an early lead in the first term before the Lions responded after quarter time to narrow the deficit to five points at the long break.

The home could have taken the lead if the team was more accurate in front of goal, kicking 5.11 to 7.4 before half time.

The third term was where the visitors took control of the game, as the Bulldogs slotted six goals while keeping Great Western to just one goal to go into the final quarter with a 43-point lead.

It was all the Bulldogs in the final quarter, as the final term played out much the same as the third term to give the visitors a 19.12.126 to 9.18.72 win.

Jarryd Underwood and Ben Nankervis both finished the game with five goals, with the latter named the Bulldogs’ best on ground in the round eight win.

For the Lions, it was Nigel Sibson who starred getting the best on ground honours,

The loss leaves Great Western in ninth position with three wins to its name this season while the SMW Rovers move from 10th to eighth place, also with a 3-5 record.

Rovers coach Kane Tolliday said it was a good performance from the team.

“Up and until half time, it was a very even contest between the two teams,” he said. “We had a fair bit of room for improvement after half time.

“The second half was the best half of football we have played in terms of sustaining our effort I think. 

“We knew they were a team based around energy, if they get run-on they can be hard to stop so we had to remain in the game for the full four quarters.”

The Rovers have been edging closer to this type of performance over the last month with Tolliday confident this will set the scene for a late season charge towards finals.

“It has been building and we have now got two wins in a row,” he said. “The hard work they have put in on the training track is starting to pay off, and it gives us a good challenge going into games against Penshurst and Moyston-Willaura in the next two weeks.”

The win was made all the better with the team still missing some key players.

Tolliday said it was a credit to the recruiting the club had done to bolster the depth.

“These situations are the best part of having a good list and strong depth in the club,” he said.

Lions coach Will Bell said it was the one quarter in particular that cost the game.

“It has been the story of the last two weeks, we had a good half against Tatyoon and it happened again,” he said.

“We rotate heavily as it is, with injuries early on, we are relying on a few to do more than they normally would but we need to keep ourselves to high standards during games. He also acknowledged Jacko Thomas’ efforts during his senior debut.