FAILURE to get first hands on the ball saw Terang Mortlake comprehensively beaten by Camperdown last Saturday.
The Magpies had control of the contested ball area in their 22.14 (146) to 12.5 (77) win according to Bloods coach Michael Sargeant.
“We just didn’t win enough contested ball and loose ball at the stoppages and around the ground,” he said.
“As soon as it hit the deck Camperdown were all over us.”
The Bloods’ midfield was slightly depleted after Jordie McKenzie withdrew pre-game but Sargeant said his absence was not the reason for why they were beaten around the stoppages.
He said rather Camperdown’s ability to outwork his side from contest to contest allowed them to enter their forward 50 numerous times, which in turn saw the Bloods concede multiple goals.
It showed over the final three quarters after a fairly even opening term, as the Magpies lifted after the first break, piling on seven goals to four to establish a healthy half-time lead.
They continued to hold total control of the contest after the main change, kicking a further 12 goals to five in the second half to run out 69 point victors.
“You take Jordie out it hurts in that area (contested ball) but I think it was more a work rate thing,” Sargeant said.
“Camperdown covered the deck a lot better and were first in more and we were chasing tail a lot of the day.”
Despite the big margin, Sargeant said the Bloods showed improvement as the game wore on, something he could take heart from.
“The second half we won the clearances and stoppages around the ground which was pleasing but we weren’t winning the next contest,” he said.
“The clearance win was good because we were down in the first half there.
“There were also a few things we improved over the course the day but the scoreboard didn’t flatter us which was disappointing.”
Jarryd Hay was named best afield through the midfield, while Nick Couch played one of his best games since returning to the club.
“Jarryd Hay was easily our best followed by Nick Couch which was pleasing for him,” Sargeant said.
“He had an injury interrupted season last year so for him to come out and play in the midfield and kick three goals was really good for him.
“They were the two standouts for us.”
The Bloods are now preparing to face Warrnambool at D.C. Farran Oval, with the Blues’ forward line running amuck in a big victory over Cobden.
Darren Ewing (11), Sam Cowling (four) and Travis Graham (two) combined for 17 of Warrnambool’s 29 goals and Sargeant said come Saturday the Bloods will need to find a way to nullify their influence.
He said they will be focusing on cutting off their supply further up the ground, while they will also work on improving the areas they were beaten in against Camperdown.
“We’ve reviewed the video (from the Camperdown game) and we’ll be working on our deficiencies at training,” Sargeant said.
“Obviously they (Warrnambool) have a gun forward line, so we’ll have to win the contest up the ground to stop it getting into them.”
In the lower grades, Camperdown scored wins in the both the reserves and under 18.5 matches, downing the Bloods by 22 and 158 points respectively.