ROCHERLEA consolidated fifth spot on the NTFA division 1 ladder with a hard-fought 24-point victory over Deloraine in the club's indigenous round clash at Rocherlea yesterday.
With former AFL player Daniel Motlop taking the field as a marquee guest player, the suburban Tigers had a big and vocal home crowd to give them plenty of support and responded by recording a 13.15 (93) to 9.15 (69) victory.
``It was a pretty tough game and in the first half I think we were kept in it a bit by Deloraine's bad kicking at goals,'' Rocherlea acting coach Lyndon Stubbs said.
``We were pretty lucky in that sense but after that our work rate was sensational and we closed it out.
``Scores were even at half-time even though we were outplayed in the first half but then we won the second half by four goals.''
Stubbs praised the game of Stuart Oates who he said was sensational down back in a best-on-ground performance for Rocherlea.
``He took intercept marks and his ball use was great and it's the best game I've seen him play since I've been at the club in two and a half years.
``Jimmy Cassidy was awesome through the midfield and his in-and-under work was great and he was like a little terrier.
``Then we had about nine or ten blokes we could nearly put next but as a group I think our backline was where we won the game.''
Stubbs said he was happy with the way that the suburban Tigers responded to the pressure Deloraine threw at them and they had stood up and been able to kick a few pressure goals to come away with the win.
``Motlop played up forward and did a couple of freakish things that you'd expect from him,'' he said.
``I told him he could have a spell but I don't think he came off the ground.
``He was pretty good up forward as a focal point and he drew two defenders to him a lot, which meant we were able to use a spare guy somewhere.''
In the NTFA division 2 night game on Saturday, Uni Mowbray 10.8 (68) defeated Lilydale 9.6 (60).