Tigers maul Cats: First win of 2018

April 17, 2018

Rochester forward Rhys Free takes a finger tip mark against Mooroopna.

THE TIGERS are on the board in 2018.

Despite the miserable weather, Rochester was able to run out with a 57-point win over over Mooroopna in round two of Goulburn Valley League football on Saturday.

It was a staisfying result for Tigers coach James Flaherty who believed his team’s form in its opening round loss to Shepparton showed it had the ability to win games.

‘‘I think we were pretty good last week but weren’t quite our best and just ran into a really good opposition,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘We went into this week knowing that we do have a game plan and the ability to win games of football, it was a matter of executing and making sure we did put our best football on the park.

‘‘We needed to get that first win to get the season rolling, so we are pretty happy that we could get that done.’’

Flaherty said the conditions on Saturday were a major challenge for his players, but he was impressed by his team’s ability to overcome the elements.

‘‘The first half of footy it was windy and wet. It’s a massive challenge for both teams to take on in those kinds of conditions,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘Our midfielders did the right things in those conditions.

‘‘We kept the ball going into our forwards and giving them multiple opportunities to get shots at goal.’’

Steven Stroobants kicked four goals on his return from the VFL and Rhys Free booted two in the 10.12 (72)

to 2.3 (15) victory over the Cats.

‘‘Being able to have Steve Stroobants at ground level in the forward line to get the ball in the hard contests, but also to have Rhys Free there to contest the high ball when it’s coming in, it shows that we do have a pretty dynamic forward line for this season,’’ Flaherty said.

Flaherty said his sides effort in the first half of the game was his biggest takeaway.

‘‘When we were in trying conditions in the first half of the game, the boys endeavour around the footy was fantastic.

‘‘They worked hard to get that early lead so when it cleared up in the second half of the match we had something to work with.

‘‘To be able to only limit them to a couple of goals was really good for us. We were able to keep moving the ball and get a few more goals on the board.’’

Flaherty spoke highly of his midfield group in the aftermath of the game.

‘‘I couldn’t have been happier about how they played as a group,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘They led the way for us during the game, set up what we did for the whole match. It’s a tough spot to play, especially in those conditions, but I think the boys did a great job.’’

The Tigers season continues this week when they host Mansfield.

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