Not many coaches would welcome a defeat, but Sam Lonergan isn’t like many coaches.
Fresh from a 30-point loss to the team that inflicted their preliminary final heartache last season, the Launceston coach said the result at Lauderdale Oval was a timely warning for his young team.
“It was a good thing for us,” Lonergan said.
“Maybe not many coaches would say that after a 30-point loss but it gives us the opportunity to understand as a group that if we don’t have our head in the game and do the right things any team can beat you.
“We’ve had a number of big wins that we have not learned a lot from but this is a bit of re-engagement into what it takes to be a contender in the State League
“The positive is we can move forward knowing if we take our foot off the pedal we can get beaten by 30 points.”
The Blues were never in it against Darren Winter’s grand finalists, kicking just three goals in the first half en route to a 17.9 (111) to 12.9 (81) loss.
“Obviously it’s a tough trip down there but to only have 21 points at half-time is very disappointing. In the second half we were a completely different side but by then the damage was already done.”
Lonergan, who admitted he is finding the injury-enforced non-playing role frustratingly difficult, issued a clear message at the break and was particularly impressed by the response of some of his young players.
“The boys responded to the challenge I set them. I basically said to them ‘do you want to be one of the ones that want to change things?’ Jared Dakin was one of those that did.
“He’s a fantastic individual. He’s a genuine footballer who wants to be the best he can and play at the highest level possible and he stepped up to the plate.
“Jamieson House is another under-17 player who was just super. He had 20 disposals and 10 tackles.
“Dylan Riley was another standout. He had our highest disposals for the game and applied fantastic pressure in the second half. He really stood up, as did Mitch Thorp but overall there were not enough contributors.”
Thorp tightened his grip on the state goal-kicking table with another four majors while Dakin also added a couple.
Tyler Martin and Ben McGuinness kicked three goals each for the Southern Bombers for whom Phil Bellchambers was a candidate for best on ground.