Morwell coach Damien Kerr has described Gippsland League ladder leaders Sale as a “pretty good side”, after the Magpies delt the Tigers a 10-goal loss on Saturday.
Kerr said Morwell began well in a high pressure game but Sale did not drop off and kept the pressure on all day.
The Tigers lost star defender Jack Brown with an ankle injury and he is extremely doubtful this week.
“I just hope there are no breakages,” Kerr said.
Brown was on top of Sale coach Matt Ferguson in a battle of the defenders in the first term.
Kane Martin, Andrew Quirk and Jordan Dessent were strong for the Magpies while Joel Soutar, Adam Bailey and Tom Crosby were in the thick of it for the Tigers.
Morwell’s intensity dropped in the second term and appeared rattled as Sale applied more pressure.
Ferguson kicked three goals in the second quarter and missed many more.
The Tigers scored their third goal of the game 20 minutes into the third term after being held scoreless in the second.
Michael ‘Funky’ Duncan kicked his third goal three minutes later but the Magpies had it all wrapped by this stage.
Quirk and Dessent kept re-bounding the ball out of defence and Kane Martin and Corey Scholtes played well on the ball.
Tim Ryan and Joel Soutar tried hard for the Tigers and Devon Soutar worked hard across half-back.
Other good players for Sale included Lachie Todd, Luke Collins, Joel Wallace and Ryan Pendlebury, while Michael ‘Chunky’ Duncan, Jeff Ryan, Aaron Fazioli and Bailey brothers Boyd and Adam played well for Morwell.
It was Collins’ first game back after being stretchered off against Wonthaggi Power three weeks ago.
Sale continued to keep up the pressure but six goals and 15 behinds in the second half was not good value for its efforts; Ferguson finished with 4.8.
Wonthaggi v Traralgon
AFTER trailling Wonthaggi Power for the first half, Traralgon sealed a finals spot with a 27-point win.
Traralgon president Andrew Quenault said it was a tough match as the Power closed the game up in the first half to restrict the Maroons’ running game.
After receiving a decent spray from coach Josh Jennings at half-time, Traralgon broke the game open with an eight-goal quarter.
Dan McKenna played his first game for several weeks and bagged six goals.
He was among the best along with Jackson Hall who was also returning from injury.
The Maroons turned a four-point deficit into a winning 35-point lead by three-quarter-time.
Best for the Maroons were Michael Geary, McKenna, Jordan Symons, Jesse Bird, Jackson Hall and Kim Harrold, while Aaron Ware, with three goals, Nathan Bell, Lucas White and Lee Warnett were the Power’s best.
The win has assured the reigning premiers a finals berth with a tough run home with games againt Drouin, Morwell and Maffra.
Wonthaggi must defeat Morwell, Maffra and Warragul and hopes Traralgon loses its three matches by big margins if it wants to play on in finals.