Excuses won’t wash if Barooga Hawks miss out

BAROOGA coach Leigh Ramsdale believes the Hawks will have “no excuses” if the club fails to make the finals.

The Hawks sit inside the top six on percentage, with four rounds remaining, but with matches against rival contenders Deniliquin Rams and Finley still to come, Saturday’s trip to Tongala is nothing short of a must win if they want to stay in the hunt.

“The two games against the teams that aren’t shooting for finals are must wins, but if we want to be any good this year, then they’re all games we need to win,” Ramsdale said.

“You want to win every game you play in.

“We certainly won’t have any excuses.

“But all we’re worried about at the moment is Tongala.

“They’ve caused a few sides a bit of trouble this year.”

Dylan Brooks (hamstring) is in the mix for a return on Saturday, with star forward Bo Nixon (ankle) likely to return against the Rams a week later.

Former coach Shaun Robbins made his return from hamstring troubles last week, with Davin Hall also likely to feature soon.

Frankston VFL player Josh Helliwell should be available again a week before the finals.

“We’ll see what happens,” Ramsdale said.

“We’ve had a bad run all year with injury but are starting to get a few back when others are copping a few, which could be nice timing.”

Finley will be looking to further entrench itself inside the top six when it hosts Congupna.

The Cats look virtually assured of a finals spot should they win this week.

The Deniliquin Rams can take major strides in their own finals aspirations with a win over Rumbalara.

The Rams look the only genuine chances outside the top six to break back in before the end of the season.

Fourth-placed Nathalia can officially end Moama’s slim finals hopes at Moama.

Echuca United will have no trouble accounting for Cobram, while Mulwala should do likewise at Numurkah.