Seymour coach Brent Colbert implored his charges for a full team effort on Saturday, and that’s exactly what he got.
The Lions have been flat in recent weeks — in particular against Echuca last weekend — with too few players putting in the effort needed to compete with the best.
But there was no such performance on Saturday as the Lions romped to a 78-point victory over a resurgent Shepparton Swans.
‘‘We spoke all week about how we just had to play with a bit more effort because we just didn’t have enough contributors last week,’’ Colbert said.
‘‘That was our focus going in to this game. We needed a much stronger contribution from everyone, and everyone stepped up. I don’t think we had any passengers on Saturday.
‘‘I think the boys made a concious effort to come out and play hard, and our first quarter was really good.’’
In fact, the Lions’ first quarter was probably their best.
Ben Clifton goaled within the first 30 seconds of the match in what was an ominous sign of things to come.
Saad Saad kicked two of a lazy nine goals for the day in the first term as the Lions continued to add to the scoreboard at will, taking a 21-point lead in to the first break.
Turnovers cost Seymour in the second term and the Swans capitalised on the mistakes to work their way back in to the match.
But from there it was pretty much game over, as the Lions stormed home in the second half to record the easy victory.
The Lions’ final term, in particular, was outstanding. They turned their 30-point three-quarter time buffer in to a 13-goal win.
The Swans scored the first — and their only — goal of the final term, but Seymour stormed home from there to kick the last seven goals of the match.
‘‘The Swans were probably in the best form they have been all year coming in to the game, so we made sure we had the guys on high alert,’’ Colbert said.
‘‘We gave them a sniff in the second and they definitely capitalised, but thankfully we were able to get the job done from there.’’
Harry Wheeler was excellent all day. The elusive midfielder was in and under all day and had 13 tackles for the match — more than double anyone else.
‘‘Harry rarely plays a bad game. He just goes about his business in style every week,’’ Colbert said.
The coach also praised the work of Saad and youngsters Jack Murphy and Jordan Hockley.
‘‘Saad was on the move a lot more, he wasn’t just stationary in the goal square,’’ he said.
‘‘I think he kicked five in the last, and he was just moving the ball really well and taking some good marks. One-on-one he’s pretty hard to beat.
‘‘Jack Murphy and Jordan Hockley both played probably their best game for us. Those two have definitely been our two most improved players this season.’’
The win was soured somewhat by another big-name addition to the Lions’ ever-growing injury list.
Jake Anderson sustained an ankle injury in a pre-season match and played his first game back in the seniors on Saturday, but his return was shortlived.
Anderson injured his quad in the second term and played no further part in the match. He will be sidelined indefinitely.
Seymour will face off against third-placed Shepparton on Saturday.
Score: Seymour 21.11 (143) d Shepparton Swans 10.5 (65)
Goals: S. Saad 9, B. Grenfell 3; J. Falcone, J. Anderson 2; H. Robertson, B. Colbert, R. Clarke, R. Scopel, B. Ryan, B. Clifton.
Best: J. Murphy, J. Falcone, S. Saad, B. Colbert, R. Scopel, J. Hockley.