Zak Saad burst gets Redbacks over the line

Zak Saad, with the ball, kicked five goals for Romsey. Picture: Shawn Smits

The Cats hit the front midway through the last term and looked to have control of the game against the reigning premiers.

Enter Zak Saad.

Saad kicked three consecutive goals to put his side back in front and seal the game for the Redbacks.

A goal after the siren to the Cats reduced the margin to 18 points, the Redbacks winning 13.11 (89) – 10.11 (71).

Redbacks’ coach Dean Helmers said he expected the game to be an arm wrestle.

“It was tight all day; we knew that going in. Before the game, we didn’t know how we would go against a good side like Macedon and I think we know where we’re at now … we’re up there.”

Helmers said while the big guns had shone in the game’s last 10 minutes, it was some of the shut-down jobs that made the difference.

“I think one of the keys was shutting down a few of their classier players. I think we did a good job of that – Phillip Romeril on James Wright and Nathan Rayment on Shaun Harrison.

Helmers was rapt with Saad’s performance.

“I think he kicked five last-quarter goals, which is incredible.

“With Ramadan, him and Wally [Saad] aren’t allowed to eat; they struggled big time today, but he [Zak] turned it on when he needed to.”

The scary part is what happens next for the other sides; the Redbacks haven’t hit their straps yet despite sitting on top of the ladder.

“I definitely think we have a lot of upside; still have a hell of an improvement to come.”

Cats’ coach Jeff Andrews thought his side played well for three and a half quarters.

“Maybe a [lack of] experience for us, but their good players stepped up, too,” was how Andrews saw the difference.

“I think we’ve come a long way. I’m happy with our intensity but not happy to be missing shots at goal.

“When we had chances to put them under pressure, we missed.”

Andrews said self-belief was starting to come through.

“It’s taking a while … we were the easybeats of the competition. Now I think they’re starting to believe, which is exciting.”

Rupertswood, Riddell, Wallan, Lancefield and Sunbury Kangaroos were other winners.