Wangaratta Rovers' coach Daryn Cresswell says his team is starting to resemble "a real football side" after snapping a 19-match losing streak against Corowa-Rutherglen on Saturday.
Rovers had the match won by half-time, claiming a drought-breaking 19.11 (125) to 9.9 (63) home win.
"The main thing with me was watching our ball movement and the way we defended the ball," Cresswell said.
"We're actually starting to understand how we want to play and I thought we looked like a real football side in the first half."
Cresswell's move from Wodonga Raiders was the biggest story of the summer and it's obvious last year's wooden spooners are adopting some of the traits of the pacy preliminary finalists.
"Yeah, except we've got some talls up forward, so we've got that get-out kick when we get across half-forward, so it's slightly different centre-forward," Cresswell said.
"But certainly in the back 50 and coming out (of defence), it's pretty similar with how we get width and move the footy."
Boom recruit Nathan Cooper was again outstanding in defence, while underrated co-captain Michael Clark was also terrific down back.
As well as the height in attack, the Hawks combine it with a mosquito fleet - Dylan Stone, Matt Medcraft and Stuart Booth - combining for eight goals, including four to the pacy Stone.
But the main difference to Raiders is the presence of big men, with Chris Knowles booting six in a fine display.
Medcraft snapped a goal after 20 seconds as the Hawks dominated the first half, racing to a 53-point lead.
Hawk Mitch Booth was stretchered off early in the third term and while Knowles bagged another shortly after, the players lost their way as the Roos rammed on four goals to one to cut the margin to 36 points.
However, the Hawks responded with seven majors.
"We didn't turn up to play, our energy levels were down, our leaders probably didn't show enough urgency early," disappointed Roos' coach Marc Almond said.
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