Deniliquin Rovers saw off a gallant Rennie outfit to stay undefeated and on top of the Picola District Football League.
The Hoppers were on track for a massive boilover, eight points ahead at three-quarter time of the Rennie Recreation Reserve ripper, but the Roos leapt into action with a huge fourth term, kicking 3.5 to 1.1 for an eight-point win.
Rennie had a share of quality chances kicking with the wind, but the Roos were always within reach in what coach Josh Bode said was an absolute scrap.
‘‘It was a shocking game, it wasn’t a really good spectacle,’’ Bode said.
‘‘It was very contested and congested and the wind was terrible.
‘‘But it was good, hard footy and Rennie had a real crack — our boys did too and it was good to grind one out.’’
Down at the final change, the Roos remained full of belief, at least in part due to having the wind in the last term.
‘‘We were kicking with a big breeze, it was a seven-goal breeze and to be honest Rennie should have kicked a few more from the chances they had,’’ Bode said.
‘‘We were confident at three-quarter time and the wind had died down a bit. It sounds stupid, but that probably suited us — it was just playing havoc with the ball.
‘‘We just continued to play tough and kicked a few goals late.’’
Bode was not surprised by the fight of the Hoppers — he’d told his team in preparation to expect it.
‘‘I said to the guys through the week, this is a really competitive team and they are going to upset some top sides — let’s not let it be this week,’’ he said.
‘‘But they had a real crack and have some young boys who were keen to put their heads over the ball.’’
Aaron Purcell continued to dominate up forward with three of Deniliquin’s eight goals, with James Gilligan, Brody Lumber, Damian Hope and Dylan May some of the keys to the fightback.
‘‘James Gilligan was brilliant all day through the middle and Aaron (Purcell) kicked three, but could have had six or seven — he had a good game, but didn’t bring his kicking boots,’’ Bode said.
Kris Willet snagged three goals for the Hoppers with Craig Ednie finding two and Dean Bigger continued an outstanding season to again be Rennie’s best.