COROWA-Rutherglen piled on the last six goals of the match to eventually topple Myrtleford by 38 points in tough conditions at McNamara Reserve on Saturday.
The Roos slotted back into the top five after back-to-back defeats against Yarrawonga and Albury.
But the resurgent Roos led by only one point at the last change and were still less than a straight kick in front of the winless Saints five minutes into the final term.
The Saints were brave, but when the resistance finally snapped, the Roos ran amok with full-forward Luke Gestier and the previously unsighted James Svarc booting two goals in a late onslaught.
Livewires Hayden Singe and Hayden Filliponi also added beauties on the run to cap productive afternoons.
Myrtleford was left exposed after a potentially career-ending shoulder injury to veteran defender Luke Chapman and an ankle injury to Christian Burgess in the middle stages.
After missing the first month of the season due to injury, Chapman, the Saints’ longest serving modern-day player, was forced off in the second term of his comeback match — he didn’t return and Burgess limped off in the third quarter and couldn’t return.
In contrast, the Roos still had a full complement after coach Bryce Campbell pre-match elected not to risk an adductor strain due to the wet, slippery conditions.
The Saints’ start belied their lowly ladder spot.
They were energised and up for the contest with Kristan Height dominant and Nathan Cossignani and Leigh Corcoran also prominent.
Myrtleford led by six points at the first change before the Roos levelled the scores by half-time with a late long bomb from regular backman, Mick Collins, who found himself up forward.
Youngster Joe Hansen put the Roos in front for the first time early in third, but goals were hard to come by and Height replied for the Saints late to leave the home team still in touch at the last change.
Matt Dussin and Jarred Lane waged a great battle in the ruck with the Saints skipper on top at the hitouts, but Lane picking up crucial touches around the ground for the Roos.
The Saints rolled the dice and swung debutant Brady Sharp on to Gestier in a second half reshuffle after Chapman was out.
Gestier broke loose late, but Sharp and his twin Ryley didn’t look out of place on debut at senior level.
Michael Kinsella and Lachlan McLarty were also key contributors for the Roos.
Campbell said the Roos took longer than hoped to adapt to the conditions.
“We had our backs against the wall,” he said.
“The last quarter was very pleasing, but we would definitely like to start better in the future.”
Sidelined Myrtleford co-coach Brad Murray lamented another loss.
“We’ve been in that position in three games, but have fallen away,” he said.
“It’s very frustrating.”