Corowa-Rutherglen’s hopes of returning to finals will face an early challenge against Wangaratta Rovers on Saturday.
The Roos are winless after three rounds, while the Hawks have the one win and the benefit of playing at home.
Fifth-placed Wangaratta sits two wins ahead of the Roos and while the Pies aren’t expected to jump another game up, given they face the undefeated Yarrawonga the following week, Corowa would want to keep within striking range of that top five.
“We’re hoping that we can scrape into finals,” Roos’ coach Georgie Bruce said.
“I don’t think that’s unrealistic, but knowing we have to play a lot better than we did last week.” Unbeaten Albury toppled the Roos, 52-45.
We’re hoping that we can scrape into finals. I don’t think that’s unrealistic, but knowing we have to play a lot better than we did last week.
“Albury was there for the win, but we cost ourselves that one, we made a lot of silly mistakes,” Bruce said.
The Roos played finals in 2014, but have missed the past two years.
They have lost a stack of talent since though, including tall siblings Caitlin and Simone Hanrahan, who were terrific in defence, along with Ruby Svarc.
“We’ve got a completely different side again,” Bruce said.
“We’ve got a few new mid-courters that changes the dynamics of the team.
“Jane Sandral hasn’t played for at least five years and before that she was at Corowa-Rutherglen and Rennie.
“Cath Wood coached Coreen (CDHBU) in the Hume League last year and they won the premiership, while Ella Kingston is also new.”
The Roos know it’s difficult facing teams with settled line-ups. “You can’t take anything away from how they’ve been able to cement their teams they’ve had for quite some time now,” Bruce said.
Sophie Hanrahan remains the key for the Roos, coming off a round-high 36 goals against the Tigers.
Meanwhile in the only other Saturday game, Myrtleford will also be chasing its first win.
But it’s a monumental task away to Lavington.
The Panthers are one of the three undefeated teams, scoring round three’s biggest win with a 36-goal hiding of Wodonga.
The Panthers had three players in double figures in Sarah Senini (22), Skye Hillier (19) and Alison Meani (18).
It’s rare to see such an even spread from three players and it makes Lavington so difficult to shut down, even for the top sides.