WANGARATTA coach Mark Knobel blasted his under-performing troops after a 46-point loss to Corowa-Rutherglen on Saturday.
“We were disgraceful — the last quarter was woeful,” he said.
Knobel was confident of a stronger defensive edge to his team this season.
Wangaratta’s long-running battles to stem an opposition run-on have surfaced again just one round in.
Knobel and his support crew stayed in the box after the final siren, dissecting the reasons for the last quarter fadeout, before revealing his frustrations.
“They made us pay every time we turned the ball over,” Knobel said.
“We got smashed by a better side on the day.
“If we don’t follow the game plan we will be worst team in the competition.
“If we don’t show some care, this could be the last year I coach.
“Hopefully we won’t be that bad again.”
Knobel was hampered by a succession of injuries on the day to players including captain Matt Kelly and big man Zack Leitch.
He wasn’t in the mood for excuses.
The Magpies also went into the game without full back David Thayer, Pakenham recruit Beau Wheeler and Dylan Van Berlo.
The Roos were also below full-strength with coach Bryce Campbell’s debut put on hold while veteran defender Kade Kuschert has a quad problem.
Corowa-Rutherglen has also bolstered its depth in the off-season with the Roos reserves recording a win against the Magpies.
Veterans Cade Mills and Matt Witherden both played at reserves level and recruit Michael Kinsella was named the Roos’ best player.
Wangaratta has a difficult round 2 assignment against reigning premier Yarrawonga on Easter Sunday before heading to Myrtleford for the Anzac Day clash against the Saints on a five-day break.
The Saints also have a tough Easter Sunday assignment against Lavington.
The Magpies and Saints could both be playing for their seasons on Anzac Day with the loser staring at the grim prospect of being 0-3 and out of finals contention.
The Roos play their first home game against another first round victor, Wodonga Raiders, on Saturday.
John Foord Oval has long been a graveyard for the Raiders who scraped over the line against Myrtleford in round one.
Raiders co-captain Brad Hibberson will face the tribunal this week after being booked on video review.
The O and M match review panel assessed an incident on umpires’ request from the round one clash.
It’s the first incident to be referred to the tribunal from video evidence since the Brendan Fevola-Ben Davies case in 2012.