THE Murray Bushrangers must win their final two games to reach the finals after losing to the Calder Cannons on Saturday.
But coach Darren Ogier is confident the Bushies showed they had what it took, despite the 36-point loss.
“I was disappointed with the fact it was a game we really could have won, the opportunity was there and we didn’t grab it,” Ogier said.
“But from the perspective of going forward we know if we bring our best footy over four quarters we’re going to be very competitive.”
The Bushrangers were still in the hunt at half-time, trailing the Cannons — who are comfortably second on the TAC Cup ladder — by just seven points.
The third term proved to be decisive as the Cannons made the most of their opportunities.
“They won important one-on-ones and kicked goals and we were unable to do that,” Ogier said.
“In that third quarter we weren’t very impressive and that’s what won them the game.
“We didn’t handle the ball or use the ball as well as should have — but we can improve in those areas, and we can match up well on most teams I reckon.”
The Bushrangers will fight it out for eighth spot with Eastern Ranges, who they face after the bye in two weeks.
“It’s been a close tussle for that spot,” Ogier said.
“Ultimately we have to win two games and we play finals — our destiny’s in the boys’ hands.
“But if we can bring that intensity and pressure of the first half we’ll be more than competitive.”
Ogier praised the efforts of North Albury’s Mitchell Mahady as well as Albury’s Dougal Howard and Yarrawonga’s Daniel Howe.
Howe will spend the next three weeks playing in the VFL for Richmond.