THE Murray Bushrangers suffered a crucial 108-97 loss to the Calder Cannons at Deakin Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
Patchy play continued to be a trend for last year’s grand finalists.
After a red-hot start, in which the Bushrangers booted six unanswered goals, the Cannons used the breeze to their advantage in the second and took a one goal lead into half time.
In a second half arm-wrestle, the Bushies simply couldn’t get their noses in front, despite a six-goal haul from Daniel Johnston.
Coach Leon Higgins said his side wasn’t up to scratch defensively.
“We certainly had our moments, but overall we didn’t defend well enough,” he said.
“Our pressure dropped in the second quarter and we let them back in.”
Johnston received good support from Zane Barzen, while Corowa’s Jy Lane and north Albury’s Ben Paton both made excelled after being moved into the midfield in the second half.