CUDGEWA will be out to restore its reputation as flag favourite when it clashes with a red-hot Corryong in the second semi-final at Cudgewa on Saturday.
Heading into the final round a fortnight ago, the minor premier was a raging flag favourite, with its only defeat being by two points against Bullioh in round 9.
But Cudgewa lost some of its aura of invincibility after Corryong produced its best performance of the season to thump the Blues by 63 points.
Cudgewa coach Bill Deery admitted a hint of complacency may have temporarily crept into the Blues’ camp.
“We probably went into that clash with a poor mindset and I’m not sure they are a 10-goal better side than us,” Deery said.
“With the minor premiership assured our mindset was probably more just to get through the game unscathed and that’s the way we played.
“But that won’t be an issue on the weekend considering there is a fairly big prize up for grabs.”
Deery said while the Demons boasted one of the most even line-ups in the competition they certainly had their fair share of matchwinners if given the space.
Demons midfielder Shannon Gilson took out the league best and fairest while former Howlong teammates Adrian Rijnbeek and Troy Cooper can quickly turn a match with their goalkicking ability.
“I’ve said all season that Corryong are the side to beat and on their day they are capable of destroying anyone,” he said.
“Gilson took out the league medal and is someone we will have to keep an eye on.
“But Cooper is the one that can win the game off his own boot if given the freedom.
“He has been around a while and thrives on the big stage.
“But we won’t tag anyone early and we will go in and play our own game, and if they start getting on top we might worry about tagging then.”
Deery said the Blues could make up to five changes for the clash with giant ruckman Jim Cleven a certain inclusion after returning from overseas.
The Demons should welcome back coach Andrew Reid (shoulder) and defender Jack Geddes (ankle).