Temora returned to winning ways, but not necessarily form, with a 10.11 (71) to 9.8 (62) win against rivals the Northern Jets at Ariah Park on Saturday.
The Kangaroos were in control throughout – leading by more than four goals at halftime, and 20 points at the last change – but ultimately won by less than two kicks.
“It was an ugly win, it wouldn’t have been pretty to watch,” Temora coach Jake Wooden said. “It was a little bit frustrating because we talked a lot (after last week’s loss to Marrar) about how we want to play, and move the ball up forward.
“We did do it in patches, and when we did, we looked miles better… but we didn’t get that outside footy as much as we wanted to.”
The Jets kicked seven goals to Temora’s four after half-time, which didn’t impress the Roos coach, although the win tightened his team’s hold on third, opening up a break on East Wagga-Kooringal after the Hawks went down at Marrar.
Wooden says the positive message for his players was that they know they have plenty of room for improvement in them. It’s just a matter of finding it, although the absence of ruckman Anthony Atkin remains an obvious disruption. Tim McAuley is also still to come back in.
Jack Irvine made an impressive return playing through the middle and on a forward flank, while fellow mids Sam Jensen and Kieran Shea led the Roos well.
Backman Luke McLoughlin was the pick of the Jets while Chris Bell and Josh Avis were good through the middle and Jacon Lampton kicked three goals.
The Jets remain sixth, one win behind CSU. They head to Barellan next week for another local derby while Temora take on the Bushpigs in Wagga.