A frequently windy and for a brief moment wet Sunday afternoon spent at Whitten Oval saw Williamstown Seagulls fans rewarded as their team ran out 39 point winners over the reigning premiers, the Footscray Bulldogs.
1. Cam Lockwood – For the second time in three games a Seagull has used their milestone to help their side to a crucial victory. Vice-Captain Cam Lockwood was appearing in his 100th VFL game and did not disappoint. Two goals, sixteen disposals and two tackles saw him among the best on ground. His run from the backline was key as the Seagulls negated Footscray’s opportunity to kick a strong score with the wind.
2. Lock it in, Eddie – The game was won and lost in the forward 50 at the Geelong Road end. With winds reaching 40km/ph at points, the team who made use of it was always going to come out on top. Williamstown locked the ball in the forward 50 when they had the wind, while Footscray allowed the Seagulls to break into the midfield, depleting the Bulldogs scoring options in the process. The Seagulls kicked 8.19 (67) to the Bulldogs 2.7 (19) at the Geelong Road end, a statistic which defined the most anticipated game of the round.
3. Opportunities are what you make them – 9.22 doesn’t look great, but any time you have 31 scoring shots you’re going to be tough to beat. More than that the Seagulls were beaten in all of the main stat categories besides Inside 50’s and scoring shots. So how did they more than double the score of their opponents? Effective possessions. The amount of junk kicks or handballs on Sunday were so small I could count them on both hands. When the Seagulls had the ball they knew where they needed to put it, put it in position and the results spoke for themselves.
4. Rest up – The Seagulls have the bye next weekend and head in at the top of the ladder, a position which they will hold if Collingwood can beat Werribee at Victoria Park. Coming out of the bye the Seagulls face Box Hill at home, Richmond away, Essendon at home and Frankston at home. While it may not be the toughest draw the Seagulls could have, they will face challenges in each of the games and will need to win at least three of the four fixtures to keep their top two hopes alive.