By Tricia Mifsud

WHITTLESEA has celebrated its second victory in 2022, outlasting a determined opponent in Macleod on Saturday to secure a seven-point win.

Macleod’s inaccuracy, with 2.9 from 11 first-quarter scoring shots, saw it take only a seven-point lead at quarter time.

Eagles captain Xavier Dimasi said the number of scoring shots from the visitors did not truly reflect the pressure the Eagles applied.  

He said a reminder at quarter time from coach Blair Harvey about tackling pressure was what the side needed to bounce-back and gain control of the match.

“We had good pressure in the first quarter, but it probably didn’t represent on the scoreboard and Macleod’s inaccuracy benefited us,” he said.

“Blair told us to chip away at it and know that our opportunities will come. I still think we had a lot of the play and momentum [in the first quarter] to be the better side of the day, which we ended up being.

“Our tackling pressure was something Blair harped on at quarter time and we had really good tackle pressure early. He wanted us to be consistent with that and then the scoreboard pressure would come.”

Whittlesea won the second term, holding a two-point lead at half time before the visitors cut it to a one-point margin ahead of a hotly contested final term.

At one stage in the fourth quarter, Macleod gained a two-goal lead, but Whittlesea fought back for a 12.10 (82) to 8.27 (75) win.

Dimasi said the win reflected a football cliche of a complete team performance.

“It was everyone playing their role. I know it sounds cliche, but it was,” he said.

“We’ve been a bit unstable as people had been crook with COVID and we had injuries lately, but we spoke on Tuesday night as a playing group about going back to the basics and doing the fundamentals right.

“On Saturday it was about executing and the basics. People not doing too much and staying at the positions.”

The home side hosted the Kangaroos in front of its 2010 premiership team, giving the Eagles further ambition to take home the win.

“We had the past players’ day. They were all watching from the 2010 premiership. It was really good to get a win in front of the old boys and for them to see us doing well,” Dimasi said.

“It was in the back of everyone’s mind not to let the past players down and put in a good, strong performance and even when Macleod kicked in front by two goals in the last quarter, we were able to find a way to kick back and win, which was awesome.”

This weekend, Whittlesea has an away game against bottom-of-the-ladder North Heidelberg.

Dimasi said it was possible win for the Eagles as they endeavour to string two wins together for the first time since entering division one.

“It’ll be really good for the group to string together two wins in a row and stay with the pack and keep our eyes on sixth spot,” he said.

“It’d be massive to go back-to-back wins as it’s something we haven’t done in a very long time and we’d like to tick off.”

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