Punters had no role in Tigers’ defeat

Albury co-coach Daniel Maher. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Albury co-coach Daniel Maher. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

ALBURY co-coach Daniel Maher says external pressure played no part in Saturday’s shock loss to Lavington.

The Ovens and Murray heavyweight entered its weekend clash as the overwhelming favourite for this year’s premiership with an undefeated 12-0-1 record.

But Maher said the Tigers weren’t feeling the weight of expectation heading to Lavington on Saturday and that complacency played no part in their shock 12-point defeat.

“All that stuff is out of our control,” Maher said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a wake up call but clearly we’ve got to reassess some things internally.

“From quarter-time onwards, things didn’t go our way and guys went away from the structures we spoke about during the week.

“Footy is a great leveller and we’ll go in now and work on it and structure up again.”

Maher conceded Saturday’s disappointing showing against a rival contender showed Albury may have been in need of a contest.

The Tigers’ average winning margin since they last played Lavington, in round 5, was almost 109 points per game.

“You can probably say that now that we needed it,” Maher said.

“But you’ve got to treat each club, each week, with respect and on its merit.

“The draw is what it is, but we’ve just got front up against Myrtleford this week and hopefully get another crack at Lavi in the finals.

“It was just one of those days.

“Full credit to Lavi, their performance shows they deserve to be on top.”

Albury is still every chance of reclaiming top spot in the final month of the season.

Lavington still has to play a fast-improving Yarrawonga in round 17 and can’t afford to slip up if it wants to win the minor premiership.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have Myrtleford, Wodonga Raiders, Wodonga and Wangaratta in the run home and will enter all four of those games as an almost unbackable favourite.