Tigers on the march

April 24, 2018

A sight to warm the hearts of Rochester fans - Steve Stroobants in full flight taking a mark against Mansfield on his way to four goals.

Rochester's Lachie Watson looks for a teammate to handball to.

IT WAS exactly what the Tigers were looking for.

The Tigers were dominant en route to a 48-point win against Mansfield in the Goulburn Valley League clash on Saturday.

Now the team’s record in 2018 is two wins and one loss and looking like a much improved side.

Rochester coach James Flaherty said his team went into the game prepared for a tough contest.

‘‘We identified that it was going to be a pretty tough match-up,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re a side on the rise and have a pretty elite midfield group so we knew it was going to be a challenge.

‘‘We’re pretty pleased that we performed in the way we did.’’

The Tigers booted 14 goals, continuing their strong start to the season in front of goals.

Flaherty said the team has worked hard to be strong in front of goal.

‘‘It was one of the things that we really needed to work on from last year,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve put up pretty good scores in the first few rounds of the season, so it’s a massive improvement.

‘‘To kick 14 goals on Saturday show’s that we are getting the job done now the way that we want to do it.

‘‘The next thing we need to do is get the balance right with our midfielders and how they move the ball and where they deliver it.

‘‘When we get on top of that we will improve even further.’’

Flaherty said the team were balanced across the whole field — deferring talk of his own game (he was named in the bests) to the whole backline.

‘‘I think as a unit our backline were really solid,’’ the coach said.

‘‘We changed a few things up this week and put on a good performance.

‘‘We supported each other really well and that made a big difference for the side.’’

The big difference in the forward line was Steven Stroobants, who kicked four for the second week in a row while on hiatus from North Melbourne’s VFL side.

Flaherty said Stroobants was a major inclusion for Rochester.

‘‘He’s obviously a wonderful player,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘He’s been around the GV for a few years now so he knows how to play that role for us.

‘‘We know he will probably play a few games in the VFL this year, but we will use him to our advantage as often as we can.’’

Rochester will this week continue their season in Tatura against a strong Bulldog outfit.

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