REIGNING Geelong Football League premier Bell Park delivered Colac an early reality check with a crushing 68-point defeat.
The Tigers started promisingly but were rarely in the contest after quarter time, conceding 16 goals to their eight to lose 11.8 (74) to 20.22 (142) at Hamlyn Park.
Bell Park half forward Charlie Hallam kicked six goals while the Dragons had too many winners through the middle of the ground in the lopsided contest.
Colac had eight goal kickers, but their best players – Shane Theodore and Paul Presani – were overwhelmed defenders constantly under pressure.
The result left Colac coach Matt Gibson with the task of how to rejuvenate his side ahead of another road trip against North Shore.
Gibson pulled no punches and said the Tigers were lucky not to lose by more. Only late in the first term and at stages in the last term did Colac look like a contender.
“Our midfield was pretty reasonable in the first half and the second half we got belted around stoppages and at clearances,” Gibson said.
“Straight away we put our backline under the pump.
“Our forward line delivery we have to have a really good look at it this week.
“The way we’re delivering the ball to our forwards is making it way too easy for defenders to spoil and rebound.”
Poor disposal entering the forward 50 and a lack of defensive pressure through the midfield echo the early stages of 2011, but Gibson was adamant the side was in better shape this year.
He said Dan Casey was unlucky not to finish with more than one goal having been on the rough end of the umpiring.
Teenager Matt Garner also won the coach’s praise for his work in the ruck in the second half, which allowed Lochie Veale to go forward.
Gibson said Colac had to lift its skills to GFL standard if it was going to be competitive against the Seagulls and South Barwon a week later.
“Winning those 50-50 contests is the first area, and getting back on top there, that’s what we pride ourselves on,” he said.
“And making sure we’re using the ball well, a bit of polish and efficiency.
“Once we do that things seem to start flowing. They’re the two key areas, I suppose.”