WODONGA Raiders co-coach Simon Bone says his club’s reputation is on the line when former AFL star Chris Tarrant makes his one-off appearance for the embattled club on Saturday.
The Raiders enter their clash with Corowa-Rutherglen fresh off a shock 69-point thrashing from Myrtleford, an effort Bone said was not good enough.
With the Birallee Park match the feature of the weekend, the Raiders’ non-playing mentor said the club had more than just four points at stake against the Roos.
He agreed another poor showing could damage the Raiders’ brand.
“If you don’t have a crack and you’ve got a guy there who’s played a lot of seriously good footy, word spreads pretty fast,” Bone said.
“He’ll obviously go back to Melbourne and tell people about how much enjoyment, or lack of it, he has at the club this weekend.
“With a young side sometimes you fluctuate in form but one thing, regardless of ability, that isn’t a negotiable is your effort.
“I fail to believe Myrtleford is an 11-goal better side than us but, if you put in a poor effort like we did, you get exposed.”
Bone said it was a pleasure to have former Collingwood and Fremantle star Tarrant at his disposal against the in-form Roos.
He is almost certain to line up alongside gun forward Dean Limbach.
“It’s a great opportunity for our guys to rub shoulders with somebody who has played in excess of 200 AFL games,” Bone said.
“I remember playing with Bernard Toohey late in his career — it’s something you can talk about down the track.
“The opportunity is there for all our guys to get something out of it.”
The Raiders have gone into freefall after winning two of their first three games.
The club hasn’t tasted victory since it beat cross-town rival Wodonga on Anzac Day.
Despite a string of defeats, the Raiders went into last Saturday’s clash against Myrtleford with every reason to be confident after pushing reigning premier Yarrawonga a week earlier.
Yet the Alpine Saints put the Raiders to the sword — it was Myrtleford’s biggest win since 2011.
“They just wanted it more than we did,” Bone said.
“They outworked us and played the conditions well.
“Myrtleford at Myrtleford is always a challenge but to give up 10 goals in the second quarter on a heavy track isn’t really good enough.
“I thought we had one poor quarter against Wangaratta but stormed home and we were pretty good all day against Yarra last week.
“But we just didn’t turn up on Saturday.”