While it was their seventh win of the season by less than a goal, there was some humour involved in the coaches box as ruckman Jake Spencer ran into the open goal to kick the match winner.
“It sometimes makes you laugh when you’re up in the box watching the big blokes running in there (to an open goal) and you never know what’s going to happen but he’s worked really hard all year and he had a whole year out last year with a knee,” Lovett said.
Spencer was decisive in the ruck with 45-hit outs, dominating against Bendigo’s Dean Putt with the Gold perhaps missing the luxury of having one of David Hille or Tom Bellchambers playing, which they have had for the bulk of the past two months.
“It’s taken him (Spencer) a few games to get back into it. He come back today and I thought his ruck work and also his work around the ground was the best we’ve seen all year,” Lovett said,
“Players come and go at this level. I said to Jake that you should be able to dominate this game. It’s one thing saying it, you have to be able to do it. I thought he did that today well.”
“In the end, those big guys don’t get any shorter. He was able to get the ball moving forward in the last quarter and put Bendigo under pressure by having the ball inside our forward half for a lot of the quarter,” he said.
Lovett said “things came together” in the final quarter where they kicked the last five goals of the match after trailing by 29-points at the last change.
“I don’t think we played our best footy up until three quarter time but the last quarter, things came together a bit and we probably played a bit more to our game plan and the structures that we’ve been playing for most of the year,” he said.
“We try to keep it fairly simple down here and it’s just about winning the ball and getting the ball in deep and quickly for the forward line. I thought in the last quarter…we found a way to win.”
Casey began the season winning close games and it hasn’t stopped. Lovett said it has been important for the development of his teams’ players.
“You win those early close ones, I think it’s a big part of footy especially for the young players developing,” he said.
“You keep hanging in there and you keep believing that you can get it your way and things can happen and things can turnaround.”
“When we played Bendigo earlier in the year, they did a number on us and we were probably 40 or 50 points down at three quarter time.”
Casey has leap-frogged Port Melbourne to the top of the table but like Lovett said: “I don’t know if a team has ever been on top with a percentage of 100 before.”
Casey’s percentage is at 103.80 – after its close results – ahead of second placed Port Melbourne, in comparison, with a percentage of 154.68.
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