Myrtleford is banking on a heavy defensive workload over summer improving its chances against the last of the 'big three' on Saturday.
Myrtleford hosts Wangaratta.
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"We just need to keep taking those steps forward defensively," defender Hugh Wales said.
"Our pre-season was based around defence and learning that side of it.
"We didn't do a lot of offensive work and it was about getting players to understand how important the defence side of the game is."
Albury kicked 19 goals, while Lavington fell just short of three figures.
Apart from the first quarter, the Saints were never in the game against the Tigers, while it was poor kicking which cruelled their hopes against the Panthers.
"Against Albury, we might have been a bit overawed I guess," Wales said.
"We fell away from how we wanted to play, more defensively than anything.
"We were really good against 'Lavi', just the scoreboard pressure wasn't there."
The Saints failed to kick a goal in the first term and had 3.9 to three-quarter time, yet trailed by only four goals.
However, the Panthers blasted seven goals to one to race home.
Myrtleford's four goals followed the six against the Tigers, so the home team certainly needs to manufacture some majors if it's to get anywhere near the Pies, who are also coming off a loss to Wangaratta Rovers.
The Saints have heard speculation boom forward Michael Newton is set to return from the pectoral muscle injury he suffered against Lavington on May 4.
The star quartet's absence means it's the ideal time to play the grand finalists.
The Saints have also received a boost with three-time best and fairest Brad Murray coming out of retirement.
Murray, who turned 37 three weeks ago, originally started playing reserve grade for fitness, but his form, particularly against Lavington, guaranteed selection.
"I think he'll play predominantly forward, put the pressure on and hopefully kick a couple of snags," Wales said.
"Obviously his leadership and knowledge about the game is massive, so he'll be able to help out the young guys."
After the Pies, the Saints face Wodonga (ninth), North Albury (10th), Rovers (sixth) and Yarrawonga (seventh) before the bye.
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