The Bombers monstered Benalla by 128 points at the Hangar in the weekend’s split round, reaching the top rung on percentage over Seymour (40 points), while Echuca (36 points) has a game in hand.
But although the 24.20 (164) to 5.6 (36) scoreline speaks volumes, Kyabram iced the game in such a way which places it in the conversation as a ruthless contender for the flag.
Whether it was capitulation on Benalla’s behalf or an almighty lift from the host, Kyabram’s assault on the Saints’ defensive 50 was something which had to be seen to be believed as it landed eight majors in 25 minutes.
The Bombers’ forward line was on fire — namely Kyle Mueller with seven goals — but Kyabram was equally proficient in defence.
Paul Newman’s charges held Benalla to just two points in the first quarter for a 24-point edge, and that was sharpened to 31 by half-time.
The Saints failed to kick a single point in a cagey third term which saw Kyabram post two goals, and what followed was an opening of the floodgates.
Thomas Holman and Brad Mangan booted a pair each while Mueller, Cooper Vick, Toby Wooller and Charlie Barnett split the sticks to put a stamp on a categorical performance at home.
Mueller’s magnificent seven was followed by four from Mangan and Holman, while other standouts included Lachie Smith (18 disposals, nine contested possessions) and Zac Norris (50 hit-outs, 10 score involvements).
Benalla’s talisman Josh Mellington ended with three goals, while Saint Sam Harris, playing his 100th senior game in club colours, tallied 27 touches.
James Martiniello was a force as always in the middle for the visitors, finishing with 26 disposals and six clearances.