Demons on the end of a Stroob awakening

May 14, 2018

On a string: Rochester's Steven Stroobants was outstanding with eight majors.

Solid: Rochester's Nathan Marrone is compiling another great season.

Out of my way: Rochester's Nathan McCarty brushes off Shepparton United's Mark Athanitis.

Holding his own: Shepparton United's Matt Di Bella was his side's best player in a big loss.

A ruthless Rochester outfit was far too good for Shepparton United on Saturday.

The Tigers ran rampant throughout the match, piling on 20 goals to one in a comprehensive performance.

VFL-listed Steven Stroobants was again in fine form with eight majors at Moon Oval — taking his season tally to 18 from just four games — but Rochester playing coach James Flaherty said his gun’s day could have been even better.

‘‘I think he kicked about 8.6, so he could have been a little bit better, but having 14 shots on goal is always great,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘His form’s been really good when he’s been with us, but obviously we’re not going to have him for every game, so that’s something we’ll have to manage throughout the year.’’

As well as kicking a huge score themselves, the Tigers were able to restrict the Demons to just three scoring shots for the day — a monumental defensive effort which had Flaherty’s side’s percentage jump from 109 to 148.

‘‘Our midfield group was great defensively all day,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘Our back six or seven has been pretty settled all year too and they were good again.

‘‘It’s always good to get some big wins early in the year, it’s always harder to do as the year goes on.’’

Nathan McCarty, Lachie Watson and James Gledhill were impressive for the home side, while Elliott Taylor chimed in with three majors.

The Tigers have now moved to fifth on the table — bouncing back well from a loss to Seymour last week — but Flaherty knows his charges cannot get ahead of themselves with fixtures against Kyabram, Euroa, Benalla and Echuca to come immediately after the interleague bye.

‘‘We probably just wanted to respond a bit from ast week and we did,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘I was really happy with our avenues to goal and to keep them to eight is great.

‘‘But we understand that we’ve got a tough five or six weeks ahead of us now.’’

For the Demons, there were not many positives to draw from the day.

Matt Di Bella, Tom McCluskey and Ben Bingham were among the best for the visitors, but coach Stephen Scott is looking forward to moving on quickly from the contest.

‘‘It was probably a bit disappointing from where we’ve been at, I think we’ve taken some big steps this year,’’ Scott said.

‘‘All the young blokes are doing their bit, but we were just outclassed by a classy side.

‘‘They felt like one of the best side’s we’ve played this year.

‘‘But we’ll probably just scrap that one from the memory bank and move on.’’

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