Wangaratta’s decision to field only 18 players in reserve grade on Saturday was a one-off.
The Pies and Albury had just 16 on the ground, as part of a pre-match agreement.
“We had some players unavailable and a couple of players were ill,” senior coach Dean Stone said.
“Normally we have two thirds players come up every week, which is part of the club’s development.
“But the thirds had five or six players who didn’t play, so we didn’t have the numbers to bring up to reserves.
“It’s the first time I think it’s ever happened.”
Wangaratta put in a gritty performance, falling to the undefeated Tigers by only 16 points.
The Pies are just one win outside the top five.