Wangaratta Rovers hopeful of a Mulligan on injury

WANGARATTA Rovers are confident they’ve dodged a bullet after star recruit James Mulligan went down with a serious knee injury on Saturday.

The former Western Bulldogs defender will get scans in Melbourne today after collapsing in the dying stages of the first half during the Hawks’ 13-point win over North Albury.

But coach Paul Maher is optimistic his prized addition has only strained the medial ligament in his left knee and will miss six weeks at worst.

“He’s pretty confident it’s a medial,” Maher said.

“We are hopeful it’s four to six weeks.”

Mulligan started life at the Rovers in promising fashion at Bunton Park, anchoring the Hawks’ defence alongside captain Tyson Hartwig.

The Rovers skipped to a 44-point lead just after half-time but felt the loss of Mulligan in the second half as a determined North Albury charged home.

“Losing James was significant,” Maher said.

“He started the game well and just looked a class act.

“Down back he was directing things and was showing some really positive signs.”

Fellow former AFL players Daniel Archer and Jarrad Boumann also made their debut for the Hawks.

Archer, who played one game for St Kilda in 2011, booted four goals and provided a strong physical presence inside 50.

Boumann started at centre half-forward opposed to Hopper champion Daniel Leslie.

In a plus, the Hawks look set to regain Hayden Lowe for Saturday’s clash at home to heavyweight Albury.

Lowe is nursing an Achilles problem and Rovers opted to play it safe with the defender.

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