Saints break drought to get on track

BERRIGAN overcame a sluggish start to overpower Yarroweyah by 46 points to get back on the winners’ list as the North-West finals approach.

With an elimination final berth secured, the Saints went in aiming to build confidence for the pointy end of the season, but it took them until the second half to hit their stride.

“We got a lot smarter and wiser with the ball,” coach Ty Russell said.

“It took us a while to get going but then we played a lot better, attacked the ball harder and played more as a team.”

Russell said Berrigan was wayward in the opening term, allowing the eighth-placed Hoppers to take a one-point lead into the first break.

But just as they recovered from a nervy start, the Saints are starting to get over a torrid run of injuries, notching their first win of the second half of the year after six losses and a draw.

“Our first half of the year was really good but we’ve copped so many injuries,” Russell said.

“We had up to 11 senior players missing from one game, but we’re slowly getting them back now.”

Twins Jack and Cameron Mynard were back and provided run from the Saints’ half back line.

“Their run and toughness made a huge difference for us,” Russell said.

Harley Middleton and on-baller Chris Patten were also solid performers, with former Sydney and Hawthorn player Justin Crawford kicking four goals.

“Crawford showed glimpses of brilliance,” Russell said.

“And the whole backline played well under a fair bit of pressure, led by Stuart Pyle and Grant Martin.”

As personnel return, Russell said the Saints hoped to hit finals as fit as possible.

“We’ll just try and get through next week unscathed then have a bit of a crack at it,” he said.