North Wagga produced the performance they'd been threatening on Saturday, with an 89-point demolition of the Northern Jets at McPherson Oval.
The home side got on top midway through the first quarter and didn’t look back and Saints coach Kirk Hamblin happily declared the 17.14 (116) to 4.3 (27) victory their most complete effort of the season so far.
“It is, for sure,” Hamblin said. “It was pleasing to play four quarters of footy, I reckon it was the first time this year. The thing today was as soon as the Jets got a couple of clearances we tried to nullify the contest and wrestle the momentum back our way… we just played team football for four quarters and I think everyone can see when we’re playing team football we’re playing our best football.”
North Wagga led by 22 points at the first break, six goals at half-time, 11 goals at three-quarter-time, and still went on with it, despite finishing without a bench.
A slight hamstring strain to Luke Walsh just before half-time and ankle injuries to Nathan Dennis and Jack Flood in the third quarter didn’t slow the Saints. Flood’s is the most serious worry for the Saints, who were already without Jarrod Conway and Daniel Jordan (ankles) and Corey Watt (groin).
The report of Jed Winter in the second quarter for intentionally or carelessly engaging in rough conduct on Jets midfielder Jack Fisher also took a little gloss off the win. He’ll learn the grading and potential penalty on Monday.
His younger brother Cayden Winter had a strong game, and kicked three goals, as did Ben Alexander and James Morris. But midfielder Tom Bennetts was the pick of the Saints, doing the job on Jets star Mitch Haddrill and stamping his own mark on the game.
Fisher and ruckman Matt Carroll were the best of the Jets on a disappointing day out.