The Deni Rovers received a ‘‘wake-up call’’ from Strathmerton on Saturday, according to Roos coach Josh Bode.
The Picola & District League ladder leading Dogs kept their winning form going, beating the Rovers by 79 points at Memorial Park.
It proved a Saturday stroll in the park for the visitors, kicking away to a 37 point lead at half-time before racking up 16 scoring shots to four in the second half to blow the margin out.
Travis Down, Theo Thomas and Connor Hargreaves kicked three goals each, with other stars including Matt O’Kane, Lance Oswald and Lewis O’Sullivan.
Caleb Pannell was the home side’s best, with Nathan Kerr, Joe Hay, Rhys McCulloch and Allan Bond also playing well.
Final score, Strathmerton 17.14 (116) to Deni Rovers 6.1 (37).
Bode said that while Strathy were outstanding, his side made them look even better on Saturday.
‘‘Strathy are a very fit side and we’re simply not fit enough,’’ he said.
‘‘I put the challenge out to everyone that they needed to put it on themselves to work hard over the bye last week.
‘‘We had half the side train once over the past two weeks. The ticker and commitment on the day is definitely there, but the work isn’t being done during the week.
‘‘Each player needs to have a hard look at themselves and ask if they’re putting in enough effort.
‘‘You’ve got to do the hard work if you want to compete against the top sides and it’s just not happening at the moment.’’
While his side isn’t up to the standard they need to be at present, Bode said there is still plenty of time to rectify the issues.
‘‘Luckily we are only half way through the season,’’ he said.
‘‘The talent is there, the game style is right, we just need the players to step up and work harder.
‘‘The list is good enough to go deep into finals, but a line in the sand needs to be drawn.
‘‘If we keep going the way we are then we won’t challenge in finals at all.
‘‘If blokes don’t want to get fit, then we will play thirds players who are fit and want to work hard in the side instead.’’
The Roos will be in a must-win situation when they travel to take on Picola United in round 10.
It was a much better result for the Rovers reserves, coming away with a 53 point win on Saturday.
The Roos set themselves up with a dominant first half, leading by 40 points at the main break and winning all four quarters to move into the top four.
Final score, Deni Rovers 11.11 (77) to Strathmerton 4.0 (24).
Rhys Thommers continued his dominance up forward with four goals, while Daniel Mison, Jordan Treble, Jamie Thorpe, Jayden Caniglia and Blake Marchant also were standouts.