Glenorchy, missing a host of stars, went in as significant underdogs against the previously undefeated Lauderdale in round seven.
Although the game was played at KGV, the expectations of most were that the Southern Bombers would have too much star power for the injury-ravaged Magpies and extend their winning start to the 2019 season.
As revealed by Paul Kennedy in his post-match media conference and star midfielder Ben Kamaric on Monday, such external noise was used as fodder for the group heading into the clash.
The rev-up appeared to work, with a Glenorchy outfit missing the likes of Daniel Joseph, Mitch Rainbird and Clinton French – and late withdrawals Josh Arnold and Rhys Mott, inflicting Lauderdale with its first loss of the 2019 season.
Both sides traded blows in the opening half, but it was the third term where the Magpies really took the game by the scruff of the neck, turning a 10-point half time deficit into a 10-point advantage heading into the final stanza.
Cal Daly was the spark for the Magpies, kicking two remarkable goals as part of a five goal to three quarter.
The Magpies’ defence was under constant pressure in the final term, with interim skipper Harrison Gunther leading a miserly defensive effort that restricted Lauderdale to just one goal and two behinds, securing a historic win for the side, made all the sweeter after last weekend’s loss to the Northern Bombers.
“We talked that it would be a famous win,” Paul Kennedy said post game.
“We had the theme of playing with passion and care for the club and the team and making sure the 22 blokes playing for Glenorchy got the job done, regardless of who was missing.”
Such inclusions, including Tyler Bowden, Trad Duggan, Sam Hall and Giacomo Millucci all made the most of their chance, playing key roles and having crucial moments to help the Magpies record a stirring win.
Another point of motivation heading into the game was the absence of star midfielder and captain Brayden Webb, who has been ruled out for the year with a serious knee injury
“We spoke about how much we care. That was the question that was asked of us [during the week],” Kamaric said.
“We were asked this because we all know how much Pidge [Brayden Webb] cares.
“Like PK said, you don’t want to be sitting in the box with him on a Saturday. He rides the whole game and rides every moment.”
Kamaric, who played in Glenorchy’s 2016 flag triumph, considered this win to be among the best he’s played in.
“It was pretty surreal. To be written off almost going into the game like we did and to win the game and sing the song like we did was great.
“They came here and beat us last year which was spoken about during the week because we did have it over them for so long out here. They bullied us a bit last year and for us to come out here and deliver the performance we did was really good.
“I was saying after the game that bar the grand final that was probably the best win I’ve ever played in. All week hearing about how we had been written off, the people who were out and losing Rhys Mott at training on Thursday as well and then to come in and win with the team we did and the way we did was unreal,” Kamaric, 21, said.
Despite the loss of Webb on top of Daniel Joseph for the season, the Magpies showed that they have the depth to be a serious contender in 2019.
Kamaric himself looks to have taken his game to another level after a breakout 2018 campaign.
The ball-winner polled three RACT Insurance Player of the Year votes for his efforts against Lauderdale and has featured as one of Glenorchy’s best players in five out of the six games played.
With Kamaric stepping up, as well as the continued development of James Webb and the inclusion of Sam Rundle on top of Rhys Mott and Jaye Bowden, and the Magpies have a midfield contingent that can cause serious headaches for opposition outfits.
“I’m just enjoying it. I love going out there and playing with my mates, I know they are going to make things easier for me, and make it easier for me to do my role for the team.”
Glenorchy will meet the Demons at North Hobart Oval on Sunday afternoon.