JAKE'S TAKE: Roos in the hunt with Campbell at the helm

 Alastair Austin won't let the Raiders' Steven Jolliffe get away so easily. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Alastair Austin won't let the Raiders' Steven Jolliffe get away so easily. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

THERE’S a buzz down the river.

And it’s not coming from Yarrawonga.

Corowa-Rutherglen is back in business.

After five years outside the top-five, dicing with the wooden spoon in a couple of them, the Roos finally look on track to play finals again.

We’re only two rounds in, but a spot in the five now looks theirs to lose.

With matches against Myrtleford and Wodonga to come before the interleague bye, Corowa-Rutherglen will no doubt be aiming to be at least 4-2 after six rounds. And so they should.

Bryce Campbell has made a world of difference since taking the coaching job.

He arrived at the John Foord Oval with AFL experience and more than 100 SANFL games under his belt.

You can tell. He has lifted the professionalism of the club and is always wanting to improve.

He is far from satisfied with the 2-0 start.

While he acknowledged the Roos were doing plenty well after Saturday’s win over Wodonga Raiders, Campbell only seemed interested in fixing the stuff they weren’t.

Corowa-Rutherglen has a new game plan and doesn’t look too dissimilar to Lavington in the way it sets up.

“I’m not sure if you’d call it a press but we look to guard space and be smarter defensively,” Campbell said.

“That was one of the things we really improved on from the Wangaratta game.

“We were really ordinary in that regard.

“Our stoppages still need a lot of work but defensively we are a lot better and hopefully that will keep us in games.”

Luke Gestier has already established himself as one of the league’s premier key forwards, while his mate James Brain has returned to the Ovens and Murray an infinitely better player.

Campbell is yet to be anywhere near his best and will be the Roos’ standout when he does.

Kade Kuschert, a star of the competition, hasn’t played.

Then there’s Cade Mills and Matt Witherden, who have started the year in the reserves but are still more than capable of contributing at senior level.

The Roos haven’t peaked, and as we all saw with Wang Rovers in 2012, you can never say never.