Ruthless Storm set up big win with dominant first quarter

Storm's Shannon Geary collects a handball from team-mate Bryce Carroll. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

Storm's Shannon Geary collects a handball from team-mate Bryce Carroll. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

A ruthless 20 minute burst to start the game was the catalyst for Strathfieldsaye's resounding 87-point win over South Bendigo.

The Storm kicked six goals to none in the first 20 minutes to put the Bloods on the back foot before cruising to a 24.13 (157) to 10.10 (70) win.

"It was probably the best 20 minutes of footy we've played this year,'' Storm coach Troy Coates said.

"We didn't start well against Golden Square last week, so we made it a real focus this week to start well.

"We're starting to gel and everything we've been working on is starting to come into place."

The Storm had 14 goals on the board by half-time and looked set for a 100-point plus win, but South Bendigo dug deep in the third quarter and tightened up around the ball.

The Storm narrowly won the third quarter before kicking away again late with six goals to two in the final term.

The Storm's greatest strength is its depth on every line.

"We don't rely on anyone and we can throw players around in different positions,'' Coates said.

"We share the workload, we bring each other into the game and play some good team footy.

"The biggest thing that has stood out for me since I've came to the club is how selfless the boys are. They want their mate to be the best player and they're happy to help make that happen."

One of the Storm's success stories has been Shaun Dwyer.

The Queenslander with a rugby union background hadn't played senior footy before this year, but has become an integral part of the 22.

After spending most of the first half of the year as a forward, Dwyer's move to defence has paid dividends.

"Shaun played on Daniel Connors in the second half against Sandhurst and did a good job,'' Coates said.

"Last week he spent time down back on (Hamish) Morcom and this week we gave him (Kaiden) Antonowicz. Antonowicz kicked three or four, but two of those weren't on Shaun.

"He's ruthless in the way he plays and I love the way he goes about his footy. He just hates being beaten."

Storm coach Troy Coates gets his message across to an attentive playing group. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

Storm coach Troy Coates gets his message across to an attentive playing group. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

Star forward Lachlan Sharp kicked 10 goals to take his seaosn tally to 54 - 46 of which have come in the past four games. However, the left-footer left the ground late in the game after suffering a hamstring twinge.

Kallen Geary (shoulder) also left the ground injured and he will be assessed this week.

South Bendigo’s effort was good, but like most of the competition the Bloods don’t have the class or depth to go with Strathfieldsaye for four quarters. Joel Swatton and Liam Bartels did their best to hinder the Storm, while Isaiah Miller and Braydan Torpey worked hard.

“We could have packed it in, but I thought we responded pretty well,’’ South Bendigo coach Brady Childs said.

“Our second half was much better. We had our fair share of the footy, but we turned it over and they hurt us.”