Rovers competitive but beaten by much stronger Magpies

SOLID: Daniel Curran stood tall in defence against a strong Wickliffe-Lake Bolac forward line on Saturday. Picture: Peter Pickering.
SOLID: Daniel Curran stood tall in defence against a strong Wickliffe-Lake Bolac forward line on Saturday. Picture: Peter Pickering.

Despite a one-sided scoreline, SMW Rovers was competitive against Wickliffe-Lake Bolac at the weekend.

The Magpies continued their unbeaten season with victory over a persistent Bulldogs outfit.

They dominated the first three terms, leading by 76 points at the final break with another 100 point win on the cards. The Bulldogs did not lie down in the final quarter, going on to win the fourth quarter by 15 points.

The Magpies won the game however, coming out ahead 16.10 (106) to 7.5 (47).

“To our credit we did commit to our game plan really well it is just that they are a really good team,” SMW Rovers coach Kane Tolliday said.

“It is hard to nullify their 21 players and their top end players just take the game apart.

“They are clean and quick which is what the difference between us was. Just that top end pulled them away.”

The Bulldogs remain just one win outside the top five, with Lismore-Derrinallum fortuitously losing to Penshurst.

Tolliday said there are plenty of positives to for his side to take out of the loss leading into the final two rounds of the home and away season.

“Winning the last quarter is a hug confidence boost,” he said.

“Also the way our blokes went about it in a tough, physical encounter was fantastic. It was not a soft game of football.

“If we can take put work rate and effort from this weekend’s game into the next two matches we will be hard to beat I think.”

Dan Curran “played his best game of the year” down back for the Bulldogs, with the Magpies going inside 50 around 60 times for the match.

Bailey Veale was the best for the Magpies with two majors, while Daniel Smith picked up four goals of his own.

The Magpies’ percentage continued to grow past 300 with another big win, more than double the percentage of second-placed Penshurst. 

The Rovers’ finals hopes are on the line next weekend, facing the fifth-placed Demons.