BAROOGA coach Leigh Ramsdale concedes the Hawks are in the midst of a form slump, but is confident the league’s big improver can still play finals.
Barooga has lost four games on the trot since it stunned Finley in round seven and now languishes in eighth spot.
While the Hawks have faced heavyweights Rumbalara, Echuca United, Mulwala and Nathalia in those defeats, Ramsdale couldn’t hide from the fact his team was out of form.
“There’s no doubt we are,” he said.
“We need to get a win this weekend.
“We can’t take a trick at the moment — our ruckman, centre-half-forward and centre-half-back have been missing — but that’s not us making excuses, because we’ve had opportunities to win some of those games but haven’t taken them.
“It’s put us back with the pack.”
James Philpot (hamstring), Bo Nixon (ankle) and former coach Shaun Robbins (hip flexor) are the names missing from those key posts.
Philpot will return for Saturday’s clash with Moama, but Nixon will miss again.
Robbins, who has played just two games for the season, looks set to return after next week’s bye.
Ramsdale said it was vital the Hawks turned things around this weekend.
“We want to get back into that top-six,” he said.
“You don’t want to start playing finals and having to win each week too far out.”
The Murray league blockbusters keep rolling this week, with Mulwala and Deniliquin Rams to face off for fourth spot at Lonsdale Reserve.
With teams like Barooga snapping at their heels, the two clubs have plenty to play for.
New ladder leader Finley hasn’t put a foot wrong since being rolled by the Hawks and hosts Numurkah.
Rumbalara has Congupna, Echuca United takes on Tongala and Cobram travels to Nathalia.