Cunnington sets up Roosters win

Nanjing Night Net

NORTH Melbourne midfielder Ben Cunnington was the match-winner in North Ballarat’s seven-point victory against Williamstown at Burbank Oval yesterday with a dominant four goals, 34 disposals and 10 tackles.

The victory sent the Roosters back into the top eight with their sixth win after working hard to get their season back on track.

Coach Gerard FitzGerald said Cunnington’s effort “says a lot about Ben’s character”. The 20-year-old is primed for a recall for North Melbourne’s clash against West Coast on Saturday.

Myles Sewell and Lachie George added a spirited edge to the Roosters’ performance, while Michael Searl provided stellar leadership and defensive rebound.

“I thought what won the game for us was a combination of effort and efficiency,” FitzGerald said. “We’ve said all along that what we needed was do a thorough analysis of why we weren’t winning games and not shy away and not put our head in the sand.

“One of the things that we said we needed to improve in was our defensive ability so that was the first thing that we tried to address.”

For as much as they’ve been written off this season, the Roosters have been impressive away from home and have battled bravely to gain improvement and consistency from a young list with an average age of 21.

They led at every change yesterday and hung on to win against a team they rate highly, in the process knocking them out of the top eight for the first time this season.

Western Bulldogs players Ayce Cordy, Mitch Wallis and Mark Austin were rested from the clash, while Nathan Djerrkura was among the best for Williamstown.

■Geelong’s 46-point win over the Coburg Tigers in Warrnambool yesterday propels it into the top four and establishes the Cats as a genuine premiership threat, with Mitch Brown and Jonathan Simpkin leading the way.

Shannon Byrnes and ruckman Dawson Simpson were also among the best.

■Collingwood showed plenty of grit in the final term yesterday to hold on for a 22-point win over Frankston at Victoria Park.

Coach Tarkyn Lockyer described it as an important victory given the almighty struggle the game became in the tough conditions.

Frankston’s Kyle Martin, an AFL draft prospect, was again the Dolphins best player, kicking two goals, along with Khan Haretuku.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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