WESTERN Storm coach Mitch Hills was rapt with his side's performance in winning in tough conditions at Lauderdale on Friday as it prepares to represent the state at the 2014 Foxtel Cup in Adelaide.
The Storm overcame the Southern Bombers to record a valuable 16-point victory, which sees them with a 2-1 win-loss record ahead of their Foxtel Cup match against West Adelaide on April 29.
"I guess the pressure was off us a little bit this week - we were probably to go into our first two games expected to win but this one most people had us as underdogs the way we played against Launceston the week before," Hills said.
"Travelling to Lauderdale is a pretty tough task and not many teams come away with a win so we really feel it is a big result for us going forward as a club and also a good result to take into our game in Adelaide next week."
A howling gale favoured one end of the ground and necessitated playing the game two different ways depending on whether kicking with or against it.
"It was tough but we had impressed on the boys that you have to adapt to the conditions with the different training venues we've had to use and I think that has been an advantage for us," Hills said.
"Last week our accountability was really poor across the ground and in the end that is why Launceston beat us.
"We really worked on that and we tried to get extra numbers behind the ball and around the ball and opened up our forward line.
"It's kind of the way they play so I felt we had to beat them at their own game and we were able to do that yesterday.
"Our midfielders set the tone with how hard they were at the footy and winning the ball in tight against a team that is really well-known for that."
There were no injuries out of the game so Hills will take a full squad to Adelaide apart from premiership ruckman Cody Thorp who still has one week of suspension to serve from last year's grand final.
Thorp should return the following week for the Storm's clash with cross- town rival the Northern Bombers.
Hills knows his side faces a tough challenge in the Foxtel Cup but said they would use it as a learning experience.
"We're aware of how difficult the game is going to be and obviously we have a lot of young players and new guys to this level and it is going to be another step up again," he said."Playing as well as we can at that standard and sticking to our game plan is going to be good for us to come back to the TSL the week after playing at a higher level and I think the boys will benefit from it greatly."