IT appears the formula to beating two-time Eastern Football League division 1 premier Noble Park involves just one element – winning the contested football.
That was the plan Norwood took into its clash with the Bulls at Mullum Reserve last Saturday and it proved telling as the Norsemen scored a five-point win.
Norsemen coach Kevin Tibaldi said his side wouldn't get too carried away with the result and he also put paid to any talk he had devised a master scheme to beat the Bulls.
"I don't think I will be getting a heap of calls from other coaches," he said.
"There was no secret formula, nothing secret. We just stayed competitive all day and won the contested football."
Tibaldi said his players provided a focused and tireless effort against the Bulls, forcing them into a poor start before the premiers stormed into life in the second half and almost snared a win.
Tibaldi said his side could have sealed the win late in the game but missed a few scoring chances in the final minutes.
But in the end it came down to stopping the highly respected Bulls midfield from moving the ball into their forward line.
"Noble Park is very good at running the ball. If you let them run and carry the ball they will get it to their forwards quick and they have a very good forward line.
"You've got to make sure the ball is held up through the midfield, so players can help out defenders by getting back. That's the theory and we did it."
The Norsemen's midfield had a day to remember from ruckman Jonathan Wynn right through to veteran star Shane Clayton and the rest of the on-ballers, with Jake Ford playing a key tagging role on Bulls captain Craig Anderson.
"It sounds silly but it was a very even effort," Tibaldi said.
"Fordy did a good job on Anderson, Jesse Newman did likewise on Shayne Allan, who we rate as a good player, worthy of close attention."
The Norsemen face an equally difficult assignment this round with a clash against Balwyn, one Tibaldi has tagged as their most important game of the season.
He has also slowed any talk of finals or higher honours, saying his side was just three games into the season and needed to build up more wins before realistically considering the finals.
"We have our most important game of this year at Balwyn and we will reassess after that.
"I like to think if we can play with the confidence and intensity we have brought the last two weeks and we compete all the time then I think the results will fall into place.
"If sides beat us while we are playing at our contested best then good luck to them."
In other division 1 clashes, East Ringwood fell to its second straight defeat, losing to East Burwood on Saturday.
The Roos were behind at every change, losing by 31 points and this week face premier Noble Park in a game both sides will be desperate to win.
Brad Kelleher named best player as Croydon lost to Lilydale on Saturday and South Croydon fell short of high-flyers Knox Falcons, who won their clash by 42 points.