Corowa-Rutherglen has been smashed by injury as it strives desperately to avoid the league's biggest fear - falling to a team on a long losing streak.
The Roos travel to Wangaratta Rovers' WJ Findlay Oval on Saturday with the home team chasing its first win since 2017.
Ironically, Corowa was in a similar position 12 months ago.
The Roos had racked up a 38-match winless streak, but toppled the Hawks by 46 points in the first round.
"I'll remind our boys what it was like when they won their first game last year, that's what Rovers are going to be feeling," coach Marc Almond said.
Even though it's only round two, it's a crucial clash.
Like all sides on a losing streak, a win would give the youthful Hawks a shot of confidence and they can quickly settle into the season without a mentally draining winless hoodoo hovering over them.
But it's even more important for the Roos.
A loss against a team on a long losing streak hurts more than any other in the regular season, unless of course it's a season-ending defeat.
And the Roos' hopes have taken an enormous hit with five injuries, including some to profile recruits.
Tim Brook is set to miss up to six weeks with a medial knee injury, three-time league medallist Rohan Davies will miss at least two months with a torn quad, while Cameron Dunne broke his arm in the final practice game and won't return until next month.
Dangerous forward Cody Parker has a back injury after being crunched against Wangaratta in the season opener and will miss at least anorther week, while Brydon Robbins has an ankle injury.
"It's backs against the wall with the injuries and we need to show a bit of resilience," Almond said.
While the injuries certainly improve Rovers' chances of breaking the drought, the last thing any battling club needs is any chance of complacency sneaking in.
The Hawks are a young side and it's only natural to feel more confident when a stack of opponents are out, but coach Daryn Cresswell will be banking on his experience, which includes assistant roles at AFL clubs Geelong and Brisbane, to guarantee the players are focused.
Rovers have named veteran Sean O'Keeffe, just a week after declaring he would miss at least two months after more finger surgery.
The Hawks impressed in round one against Albury, holding a nine-point lead midway through the final term before the match changed dramatically when Stuart Booth was reported and sent off.
The visitors conceded 14 straight goals before fighting back in the final term.
If Rovers can bring that same early intensity, they will fancy their chances.
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