Power surges to stun Bushrangers

Gippsland Power were ale to cover the absence of defender Kyle Reid, pictured here earlier in the season, in their 45-point win over Murray Bushrangers. file photograph

Gippsland Power were ale to cover the absence of defender Kyle Reid, pictured here earlier in the season, in their 45-point win over Murray Bushrangers. file photograph

FOOTBALL

Gippsland Power were unperturbed by the absence of four of their top-tier players in round 11 and enjoyed a welcome return to form to dispose of Murray Bushrangers on Sunday, 9.16 (70) to 3.7 (25).

After a 20-point loss to Bendigo a fortnight ago and a draw with Calder Cannons in round nine, Power lifted to cover the absence of defender Kyle Reid, skipper Xavier Duursma, goaler Sam Flanders and Matt McGannon who were all tied up with national championship duties.

Coach Leigh Brown flagged his side's effort and pressure as key in the 45-point win.

"[It was] good to get a result and get the four points at home and we got back to how we'd been playing and the brand we want under a fair bit of pressure," Brown said.

"I thought our effort and pressure really stood out today and we probably got away from that a little bit in the past month to six weeks."

A strong wind swept across Morwell Recreation Reserve on Sunday and the addition of rain made for classic wintry football weather but Power adapted swiftly to the conditions and had earned a 28-point advantage at the first break.

The shut-down efforts of Tye Hourigan and Zac Hurley in defence were particularly strong in the first half with the duo playing a major part in helping keep the Bushies goalless to half-time.

Caleb Serong made a triumphant return to the side and collected 20-plus possessions in a commanding midfield performance that attracted the plaudits of coach Brown along with a handful of others.

"I thought Caleb Serong coming back ... was fantastic," he said.

"I thought Harold Hood in his first game was fantastic.

"Josh Smith – a late role change I guess being able to play ruck with Rylan Henkel going out of the game – Josh was fantastic. Him and Marcus Toussaint really did a great job there."

The Power will now enjoy another week's rest before hosting the Western Jets in round 12 on July 22 and Brown hoped the side's form would carry them through the remainder of the season.

"The season's been a bit stop-start – four games in eight weeks it'll be, so now the ability to move forward and put some games together is going to be really important," he said.

"I'm really happy with the pressure and happy with the effort and now the challenge is to maintain that and do it against every team."

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