When Wodonga Raiders lost five of their best players - Jydon and Matt Neagle, etc - over summer, the 'experts' jumped off.
In The Border Mail pre-season liftout, only three (and I wasn't one) of the 12 tipsters thought they could rebound.
But the 37-point win over Yarrawonga in round two and last Saturday's thriller against Wangaratta Rovers has pushed the club into the top five.
Raiders blew the Hawks away early with the aid of a strong breeze, but then didn't land a goal in the next two quarters. In fact, they looked shot.
"In the third quarter we were lazy, defensively we were terrible, absolutely terrible, so it didn't look good," coach Jarrod Hodgkin said.
"The message at three-quarter time was to run and run and run.
"We're pretty confident we're a fit side and we just outran them."
Naturally, Raiders aren't home for finals, but they just took a giant step.
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