COROWA-Rutherglen went 2-0 for the first time since 2005 when it sunk Wodonga Raiders by 10 points in an early contender for game of the season on Saturday.
In an enthralling battle at a packed John Foord Oval, the Roos held off numerous challenges from the Raiders to score what could be a season-shaping victory.
Finals are on the agenda now.
Luke Gestier was the hero for the home team, booting seven goals opposed mainly to Jack Di Mizio and Tom Marlow in a dynamic display that will have plenty of clubs wondering how they’ll stop him this year.
Dean Limbach booted seven in defeat for the Raiders as the pair of key forwards put on a show for the 2500-strong Easter crowd.
Corowa-Rutherglen coach Bryce Campbell, who almost sat out again because of illness, finally made his debut for the Roos but rested forward for most of the game.
While the Corowa-
Rutherglen faithful were buzzing after back-to-back wins, Campbell was quick to point out there was still plenty of hard work ahead.
“While it’s fantastic that we’ve started with two wins, we sort of recognised that they were the games we needed to win,” he said.
“We need to step up against the other sides, which we know.
“We’ve got a lot of improvement left in us but we need to if we want to get up with those sides.
“But all in all, it’s a great start.”
The clubs went goal for goal in the first quarter, with scores tied at the first change.
That trend continued for most of the game, with the Roos’ lead never getting any higher than 22 points.
That happened when Gestier booted three majors in just over a minute after he was gifted his sixth of the game downfield as he put Marlow to the sword with quick back-to-back goals.
Michael Steven was reported for striking moments later, which the Raiders will challenge at the tribunal, and the wheels threatened to fall off.
But the Raiders rallied, closing to within four points in the final term.
Fittingly, Gestier answered that call, slotting his seventh with a long bomb, before Jarred Lane sealed the deal in the dying stages.
The Raiders were left to lick their wounds with ruckman Luke Visser badly hurting his ankle and James Dickson popping his troublesome shoulder.