Skipper confident his Rovers are just warming up

WANGARATTA Rovers captain Tyson Hartwig admits the Hawks aren’t exactly flying, but he remains confident their best footy is in front of them.

The Rovers sit fifth on the ladder at the halfway mark of the season.

While they look in a strong position to play finals, Hartwig said they were far from satisfied with their first half of the year.

“We realise where we are at,” Hartwig said ahead of today’s return bout with North Albury.

“We’re happy to be in the five but by no means are we happy with the consistency of our form.

“We’ve had a few hiccups along the way and really need to assert ourselves this week.”

Wangaratta Rovers haven’t beaten a team above them on the ladder this year, but they have been without a host of key names due to injury.

James Mulligan, Hayden Lowe, Ryan Cobain and Ben Kneebone are among those still to return.

With big name recruits Daniel Archer and Jarrad Boumann starting to function better up forward, Hartwig said the Hawks always knew they would have more at their disposal in the run home to finals.

“Obviously we’ve had a lot of players come in and go out, which affects things like chemistry and that,” he said.

“Regardless of where we are right now, third, sixth or fifth, we always knew our second half of the season would be a strong part of the year for us.

“Hopefully that can happen.”

Hartwig said former Hawthorn utility Boumann had shown promising signs over the past month.

“I think mainly because we are using him better,” he said.

“Early on we probably bypassed him to go to Daniel Archer because he has such a presence, but we’ve probably burned Jarrad in the process.

“We’re starting to find a good mix up forward and the guys are probably trusting themselves to hit targets other than Arch a bit more.”