New­comb is hun­gry for more af­ter win

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT -

RORY Ni­col knows the sig­nif­i­cance of ev­ery vic­tory this sea­son.

And he un­der­stands that just a hand­ful of wins could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween New­comb’s sur­vival in the Bel­lar­ine Foot­ball League and the rel­e­ga­tion axe.

But Ni­col, in the fi­nal year of his con­tract, re­fuses to get car­ried away with Satur­day’s shock win over Drys­dale.

“We just can’t get ahead of our­selves,” Ni­col stressed.

“It was a great win, but we’ve got a tough cou­ple of weeks ahead.”

In a chal­leng­ing fort­night, the Power meets premier­ship fan­cies Ocean Grove and Gee­long Am­a­teur.

Ni­col con­cedes his charges are up against it, but he de­mands the ef­fort that helped them over­come the Hawks.

“It comes back to the play­ers, they’ve got to have the ap­petite and be­lief that they can mix it with Ocean Grove,” Ni­col said.

“If we win, we could po­ten­tially be per­cent­age out of the top five. So there’s plenty to play for, but Ocean Grove’s top five play­ers are as good as any­one in the comp. That’s go­ing to be the chal­lenge.”

Thrashed by Bar­won Heads in Round 1, New­comb was com­pet­i­tive for a half against Mode­warre be­fore it all un­rav­elled.

“We haven’t been far off,” Ni­col said. “It shocked ev­ery­one else that we beat Drys­dale, but not so much me. We got a fair bit of the footy against qual­ity sides, but their pres­sure was the dif­fer­ence and we just couldn’t score against them.

“It was just an even per- for­mance on Satur­day. We had 22 con­trib­u­tors and that was the dif­fer­ence.

“In the first two rounds we had two or three play­ers win their po­si­tions, but on Satur­day you could ar­gue that 20 blokes won their po­si­tions.”

Ni­col said his side had im­proved out of sight from Round 1 to Round 3, with pres­sure and in­ten­sity a hall­mark of Satur­day’s per­for­mance.

“We were hard and tough for four quar­ters against Drys­dale,” Ni­col said.

“We were a lit­tle bit smarter around the stop­pages and our pres­sure around the footy was good.

“We were good for two quar­ters against Mode­warre, I thought, but we didn’t hurt them on the score­board.

“We had our fair share of the footy, which was disap- point­ing be­cause we wanted to be in the game. Then the ef­fort dropped off and Mode­warre blew us out of the wa­ter.”

Bank­ing wins in the early part of the sea­son is piv­otal for the Power, with the club star­ing down the bar­rel of rel­e­ga­tion to divi­sion 3. “It’s huge,” Ni­col said. “We’ve got a re­ally tough start to the year, so to pinch that one is cru­cial.

“We go to Ocean Grove on Satur­day and that rounds out four of the top five sides.

“We thought we might only win one game, so if we could be 1-5, that’s not a bad thing.

“Then we start to play winnable games. If we can win 2-3 in the first half of the year, it sets us up for the back half.”

New­comb meets Ocean Grove at Ray Men­zies Oval at 5.10pm on Satur­day.

Pic­ture: PETER RIS­TEVSKI

WIN­NING FEEL­ING: New­comb coach Rory Ni­col is hun­gry for more wins af­ter top­pling Drys­dale.

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