Hoppers hoping defeat wakes them up

RENNIE coach Ryan Forsyth hopes last week’s shock loss to South East battler Waaia acts as a wake-up call for the Hoppers on the eve of finals.

The Bombers delivered one of the shocks of the season when they downed the second-placed Hoppers last weekend.

Forsyth, who missed the game because of work commitments, said he wasn’t panicking about the defeat ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with Katamatite at Rennie.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but hopefully it’s a bit of a reminder for the guys that if you’re off your game, that’s what you are going to get,” Forsyth said.

“Hopefully it is a wake-up call and we can turn it around as soon as possible.

“We’ve been on a good run.”

Forsyth said last week’s defeat wasn’t as shocking as it seemed.

“We’ve spoken all year about the evenness of the competition and they obviously played well,” he said.

“We were a bit flat early and they took advantage.

“Their better players played well, whereas ours probably struggled a bit, which was influential on the outcome.”

The Rennie coach said he was looking forward to the showdown against the third-placed Tigers.

The Hoppers and Tigers look all but certain to meet in this year’s qualifying final.

“Obviously it looks like we’re a fair chance of playing them in the finals so it should be interesting,” Forsyth said.

“We’re keen to have a win and hopefully get a bit of an edge on them.”

In other games, Shepparton East travels to Katandra, while Katunga hosts Dookie United.

Waaia will be out to spring another upset when it hosts league heavyweight Tungamah.

In the North West, Jerilderie, Strathmerton, Berrigan and Tocumwal should all have wins against Deni Rovers, Blighty, Mathoura and Yarroweyah respectively.