Traralgon bring their best to topple Power

Maroon Tate Marsh played a leading role for this side in their win over Wonthaggi on Saturday. photograph hayley mills

Maroon Tate Marsh played a leading role for this side in their win over Wonthaggi on Saturday. photograph hayley mills

FOOTBALL

GIPPSLAND LEAGUE

Traralgon coach Mark Collison said it was time the Maroons "returned to our best footy" ahead of this weekend's clash with Wonthaggi and his side did just that to brush away the Power with relative ease on Saturday, 11.11 (77) to 5.8 (38).

"We wanted to get back to better footy [and] I thought we did that. Overall it as a good, consistent performance I thought, which was pleasing," Collison said.

The round 13 fixture was a must-win for the Maroons in their hunt for a post-season berth and helps them move a game clear in fifth spot.

The Maroons were on song in front of goal in the first term and slotted four of their five scoring shots for majors to give themselves a handy 13-point buffer at quarter-time.

"It was good. We gave off two goals early from a couple of poor defensive efforts that we had to clean up, but bar those two mistakes it was a pretty good start," Collison said.

Defender Adrian Slottje made a triumphant return for the Maroons in game 100 after more 12 months out of the game.

"Adrian had a knee reconstruction and he was exceptional down back," Collison said.

"He went really well and didn't look out of place at all, so it's going to be really exciting the next four or five weeks because without a doubt he is one of the best players in the competition when he's up and going."

Bailey Cameron enjoyed a standout game for the Maroons down back and is "having a really good year", according to Collison, while Tate Marsh "was awesome" on the wing.

Collison said the side was "slowly getting there" ahead of this weekend's clash with Warragul and earmarked the possible return of Cory Stockdale (VFL) for Saturday.

Sale v Morwell

Sale asserted their authority over Morwell from the first bounce and had the game all wrapped up by quarter-time to record win number 10 for the season on Saturday, 16.17 (113) to 5.4 (34).

The Tigers were made to look listless in the opening term and could only watch on as the Magpies converted six of 10 scoring shots to lead by 39 at the first break.

Coach Shane Fyfe said he stressed the importance of starting well to his side every week and was pleased with the way his side returned to form after a week off.

"We sort of put a big emphasis on our start and in the warm up, especially after the break, sometimes teams can come out lacklustre but we said 'let's not have that happen to us'," Fyfe said.

John Gooch kicked four for the Magpies, Brad Dessent three and Jayden Allison and Kane Martin two while singles went to five others.

Fyfe said ruckman Jack Lipman "absolutely dominated" and racked up more than 100 hit outs and listed Lachlan Ronchi's game in the backline as one of his best for the year.

"I felt our younger players played really well and stepped up. Some of our 21-and-under players who haven't played a lot of senior footy, but they played their role really well and that helped the team," he said.

Despite sitting in third spot two games clear of Moe, Fyfe said there has been little talk of finals in the Magpies' camp.

"We want to get through the next three and then reassess, but we're probably getting to the stage of trying to work out what our best side looks like, so the players need to be on their guard and need to do everything right to stay in the side," he said.

Full-back Andrew Quirk is set to return for the Magpies in the coming weeks and will "slot back in" to his post, Fyfe said.

Warragul v Drouin

Warragul led at Drouin at every change on Sunday to run out 32-point winners to wrap up round 13 action in the Gippsland league.

There was no joy for Hawk Bob McCallum in game 200 as the Gulls teamed away from the first bounce to earn a 23-point lead at the first break.

Usual suspects Brayden Fowler and Nathaniel Paredes were on song for Warragul and kicked three goals each in standout performances.

Fraser Phillips and Matthew Ross chipped with two goals each while singles went to Mason McGarrity and Luke Di Ciero.

The win helps Warragul move three games clear in sixth on the senior ladder and the race for fifth spot is well and truly on between the Gulls and Traralgon, who sit in fifth, 18 percentage points ahead.

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