Back in the mix

Magpies leapfrog bottom three, begin their push towards top five
Wod v Wang (9)_pe_c7_20150607.JPG
FLYING START: Wangaratta coach Brendan Cairns addresses his players following a blistering opening term. PHOTO: Scott Anderson

FROM bottom of the ladder to one win outside the top five.

Saturday’s victory over Wodonga, on the Bulldogs’ home turf, was of enormous consequences to Wangaratta’s finals hopes.

With a logjam starting to form for third, fourth and fifth positions, the Magpies desperately needed to take advantage of Wodonga’s spiralling form and their own improving touch in order to stay within reach, and they did just that, dominating the match at the John Flower Oval and chalking up a 35-point win.

The foundation for victory was set in the opening term, when Jamie Allan, Joel Harris, Robbie Hicks, Liam Harrington, Jessie Smith and Zack Leitch sparked a Magpies blitz.

Starting in the ruck, Leitch was outsized and often outmuscled by Bulldogs behemoth Matt Seiter, but he proved far more agile and athletic, covering plenty of ground to have a much greater impact than his opponent outside the centre square.

Allan displayed the work rate of a draughthorse with the class of a thoroughbred, extracting the ball from the stoppages and delivering it inside the forward 50.

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