Simpkin lifts Tigers to victory against St Joseph’s

Ruckman Lochlan Veale was superb for Colac. (Facebook)

Matt Hewson

A third-quarter blitz from Colac made the difference in a tight contest with St Joseph’s in Colac on Saturday, the Tigers taking the four points with a final score of 12.8 (80) to 6.7 (43).

Colac led by two goals after a cagey first half, going into the major change ahead 5.4 to 3.4, but when the game opened up in the third term the Tigers took full advantage, kicking five goals to one and taking a stranglehold on the match.

Jonathan Simpkin was a stand-out for the home side, driving the Tigers’ transition into offence and scoring two goals of his own from the midfield.

Colac coach Rowan McSparron said Simpkin played a major role in his side’s win.

“His third quarter was really good, he probably opened up the game himself there for a little while,” McSparron said.

“He got a lot of the footy and got us going forward, he had a great game.

“We probably took more of our chances when we went forward in that period. We had a similar amount of inside 50s, but we defended a little better behind the ball and got some entries a bit deeper and capitalised.”

Captain Jack Melican was an important inclusion for the Tigers after a week off with illness, while Lochlan Veale was strong in the ruck against St Joseph’s big man Josh Hovey and Tom Rieniets had the edge in his matchup with Callum Mitchell.

The win kept Colac in second spot on the ladder, four points ahead of third-placed Newtown & Chilwell and trailing league leaders St Mary’s by the same margin.

After the bye round this weekend Colac will play away against St Mary’s in a top of the table clash that will likely have large ramifications for the rest of the Tigers’ season.

“All games are important at this time of year,” McSparron said.

“You want to keep winning so you can give yourself a shot at a double chance, so it doesn’t matter if it’s St Mary’s, or Newton, or Joeys, you’ve just got to keep winning.

“But if we lose it could put us right back in the pack fighting for a top three finish. If we win it goes a long way to sewing that position up.”

St Marys isn’t the only direct competitor Colac faces in the run home; the Tigers play Leopold in round 15 and Newtown & Chilwell in round 18, as well as sixth-placed South Barwon in round 16.

McSparron said the last six games of the season were all challenging in their own right.

“We’ve got some really good teams that we’re coming up against,” he said.

“Leopold at Leopold is going to be a really tough one, and Newton & Chilwell at home. And Bell Park and Lara, who are both on the improve, are in there as well, our run home’s pretty solid.”