DEAN Limbach says the Wodonga Raiders are stinging after being “taught a lesson” by Wangaratta Rovers on Saturday.
But the livewire forward is expecting a strong response against North Albury this week.
The Hawks thumped the Raiders by 92 points in a result few saw coming.
Last year’s wooden spooner had shown plenty of positive signs in the opening rounds but slumped back to old ways at Birallee Park on Saturday.
Limbach said it came as a shock.
“We knew it would be a hard game but we were absolutely overrun,” Limbach said.
“We didn’t have a ruckman all day and lost our centre half-forward, which made it hard.
“But we were taught a lesson. Unfortunately, we didn’t come to play and they put the foot down.
“Those are the games you just forget about and move on from as quickly as possible.”
Limbach said Saturday’s clash at Bunton Park against a resilient North Albury was now nothing short of crucial for the Raiders.
“We’ll really see where we are at,” he said.
“There was a lot of talk about North losing a couple of players but the results say they are still going OK.
“It should be a really good game and we will be giving it our all, which means we’re hopefully a bit more competitive than we were on Saturday.”
The former Richmond player has booted 21 goals in the opening four rounds, but surprisingly said he was finding life up forward more difficult this season.
Hawk Tyson Hartwig kept Limbach to just two goals on Saturday.
He booted 68 last year.
“I suppose I was a bit of an unknown last year but clubs have got a bit smarter this year and put numbers back,” Limbach said.
“It’s hard when a ruckman sits in front of you all day.
“But if I’ve got two or three competing with me, then it means a few of our guys should be free and open.”
Limbach, who was pick- ed in Brendan Fevola’s interleague squad, said he was keen to represent the Ovens and Murray against the Hampden league.
“I see the money is going to the young fella from Albury, which I think is fantastic,” he said.
All gate profits at Norm Minns Oval on May 24 will be donated to James McQuillan’s future fund.
McQuillan remains in hospital after suffering spinal injuries against Yarrawonga in the first game of the season.