North Wagga have taken another step towards securing a top three spot with an impressive 70-point win against Barellan at a freezing McPherson Oval on Saturday.
On a surface for mudlarks and swimmers, Saints didn't shirk the issue, producing a percentage-boosting 13.8.86 to 2.4.16 win to get back on track after two losses in their previous three games.
They handled the atrocious conditions better than the Two Blues with five-goal hauls to former coach Kirk Hamblin and key forward Daniel Jordan.
"We knew it would be a grind and I really didn't think the score would be what it was today," coach Cayden Winter said through shivering teeth.
"The boys really done well. It was a four-quarter effort. Our pressure acts were where we wanted them to be for four quarters and we did have a lot of the footy too so I was really impressed with that."
Saints edged ahead early with three goals to one in the first, including two to Hamblin who took to the conditions like a duck to water.
When he and Jordan marked cleanly and goaled within minutes of each other in the second, North Wagga were out to a 25-point lead in a little over 30 minutes of football.
Barellan's Marcus Lawrence soon made the most of an opportunity to snare his second goal and with no score in the 10 minutes into half-time, they trailed by 19.
But Jordan buried Barellan hopes with a dominant passage to start the second half. He took two strong marks, set up a goal for Josh Thompson and then kicked another two himself as Saints got out to beyond 40 points by three-quarter-time.
After failing to go forward at all in the third term, the Two Blues opened with a flurry in the last but couldn't convert. By the time Hamblin got involved in three scoring shots in six minutes, he had five goals on the board, with second gamer Mitch Mattingly also finding one.
Jordan closed the game with a strong mark and goal to also finish with five. It was the third time this year he's had five, but for Hamblin it was the first time in six years, since a win against Barellan back in early 2015.
"For Kirky to kick five goals in the wet for us was pretty big for us, the old fella brought out some old tricks," Winter said.
"I think Jack Flood down back was really good too."
Corey Watt went for an early shower after a whack to the shins while Elliott Winter was one of a few players who looked on the verge of hypothermia after a game played in pools of surface water, with a temperature of 7C at full-time, and a "feels like" factor of less than 2C.
It was a tough day for Barellan, who's backline was under seige for long passages. They had two late withdrawals too, on top of a host of club injuries that had already seen them forfeit reserve grade.
Coach Alex Lawder was tireless down back while Jack Hillman tried to spark them at times and Jeff Mickan was good in the ruck.
North Wagga 3.1, 5.2, 8.6, 13.8 (86)
Barellan 1.1, 2.1, 2.1, 2.4 (16)
Goals: (North Wagga) Daniel Jordan 5, Kirk Hamblin 5, Josh Thompson 1, Nathan Dennis 1, Mitch Mattingly 1; (Barellan) Marcus Lawrence 2.
Best: (North Wagga) Kirk Hamblin, Daniel Jordan, Jack Flood, Sean Keith, Matt Thomas, Cayden Winter; (Barellan) Emerson Cody, Alex Lawder, Jeff Mickan, Michael Lovett, Jack Hillman.
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