BARNAWARTHA star Cameron McNeill says the Tigers “got what they deserved” in last week’s shock loss to Beechworth.
However, the two-time Barton medallist is confident he and his teammates can bounce back against Wahgunyah on Saturday.
The Tallangatta and District league’s reigning premier suffered an unexpected 25-point turn-up from the Bushrangers in freezing conditions at Baarmutha Park at the weekend.
McNeill, who won his second league medal last season, said the Tigers were desperate to make amends.
“We definitely want to be doing that,” he said.
“But we got what we deserved last week, to be honest.
“We didn’t come to play.”
McNeill said the Tigers strayed away from doing the things that have them entrenched inside the top-five and still every chance of claiming back-to-back flags after their stunning run from last year’s elimination final.
“We just didn’t work as a team as well as we have been,” he said.
“Hopefully we can turn it around.
“Footy is full of disappointments, isn’t it?
“And it’s how you react to them that shows whether you’re a good side or not.”
But Saturday’s clash at Barnawartha against the Lions is by no means a given for the Tigers.
Wahgunyah highlighted its own ability to cause an upset with a shock four-goal win over Dederang-Mt Beauty last Saturday.
McNeill said Barnawartha wouldn’t be taking the Lions lightly.
“They’ve got some handy players in there,” he said.
“We need to show them respect.”
While few saw last week’s defeat coming, McNeill said Barnawartha wasn’t reaching for the panic button just yet.
He expects the Beechworth result to be an aberration, not the norm, from here on in.
“I still think we’re tracking all right,” McNeill said.
“Hopefully it’s just a kick in the pants and a wake up call.”
McNeill, who shapes as one of the main chances to collect his third Barton Medal this year, said the Tigers were confident of being a major factor again in September.
“I think we can,” he said.
“A couple of the newer guys like Mitch Exton and Paul Harrington have added a bit to rotations and things like that.”