Tigers are now targeting finals

By Brayden May

ROCHESTER are primed for a finals push after a difficult start to the season.

After losing their first four games of the season, the Tigers have been one of the Goulburn Valley League’s best performed sides in the past five games.

They made it four wins from their last five outings on Saturday, after overcoming last placed Mooroopna by 59 points.

While both sides made a slow start to the contest — kicking one goal apiece in the first term — the Tigers had the game played on their terms in the second half, slamming on 11 goals to four.

‘‘I was pleased with the way we responded to a below par first half,’’ coach James Flaherty said.

‘‘Mooroopna made it difficult in the first two quarters and we couldn’t find a way to get our game going.

‘‘To lift against a side who has been struggling isn’t always easy.’’

While Flaherty would have liked to have seen better accuracy in front of goals — he wasn’t prepared to complain about the spread of goalkickers.

When the final siren sounded, 10 Tigers had managed to put the ball through the big sticks.

‘‘As a coach you are always looking for more ways to hit the scoreboard,’’ he said.

‘‘Our goalkicking has let us down at times this year but we did enough on Saturday to create 32 scoring attempts. I couldn’t be more pleased with that figure.

‘‘But we still need to improve our output going forward.’’

It was a special day for Jacob Atley who made his senior debut for the club after games with the Bendigo Pioneers and Essendon VFL.

‘‘Jacob used the ball at an extremely high level,’’ Flaherty said. ‘‘He is only growing with the more football he plays after his recent injury problems.’’

While he may have not played for the Tigers, Wil Hamilton also had his own special moment after taking to the field for Vic Country under 19s against the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

‘‘The club is stoked he got the opportunity to perform,’’ Flaherty explained.

‘‘Wil is a terrific young man.’’