WANGARATTA Rovers coach Paul Maher has lauded the Hawks’ new-found ruthless edge and wants a repeat performance against bitter rival Wangaratta tomorrow.
The Hawks had their biggest win since round 4, 2011, when they thumped Wodonga Raiders by 92 points at the weekend.
Even in their impressive 2012 season under Mick Caruso, the Rovers never made a habit of belting teams once they got on top.
Maher was rapt to see that happen against the Raiders.
“It was great to have that sort of win and really go away with it because it’s something we haven’t done for a long time,” Maher said.
“Hopefully we can continue to do that.
“We certainly rate the Raiders and we played very well.
“We didn’t break away until right at the end.
“But our boys did everything we asked of them.”
Maher said the convincing victory had buoyed his troops ahead of the Wangaratta derby.
“There’s certainly a lot of positivity,” he said.
“We just need to make sure we get our hands on the ball this week and hit our targets well.”
The first-year coach said he was still confident his team was in the mix with heavyweights Albury, Yarrawonga and Lavington.
The Hawks led by as much as 22 points against the Panthers and produced in patches against the Tigers a week earlier.
“We’ve shown at our best we can match it with the top three,” he said.
“We did for a half against Lavi and we certainly did in patches against Albury.
“We just need to improve our consistency of doing and continue to improve over the course of the year.”
The Pies, meanwhile, enter tomorrow’s clash at W.J. Findlay Oval fresh off back-to-back hard-fought wins against Wodonga and Myrtleford.