Mitta United have embraced their reputation as the underdogs of the Tallangatta league netball competition this season and aren't afraid to use it to their advantage.
"We love being the underdog," Mitta coach Gabrielle Gray said.
"I tell the girls that if every person is just working on themselves and what we're doing as a team, then you don't have to worry about what anyone else is doing.
"Both physically and mentally I think our group is extremely resilient, despite those early losses that had everyone thinking perhaps we weren't top five material."
But Mitta have managed just that, slipping into the top five of the competition equal on wins and losses with last year's premiers Tallangatta.
This weekend will indicate to the side just how far they have already come this season, with a round two rematch looming against second placed Thurgoona.
The last time the two sides played the Bulldogs stormed to a 17-goal win in Thurgoona.
"It will be good to host them on our home turf," Gray said.
"I'm hoping that it will affirm that we've improved a lot from that second game we played them in.
"I think after the first three or four games no one would have placed us there (top five).
"Our improvement has been made during the season.
"We've got a really solid game plan and have been chipping away at building on that game by game.
"Thurgoona are extremely strong and well drilled, so we'll be taking it quarter by quarter."
ALSO IN SPORT:
Wet and slippery conditions are forecast for the clash in Mitta on Saturday and could make playing conditions between the two sides different this time around.
Gray hopes her side's experience in the wet conditions earlier this season will help them to adjust this weekend.
"Obviously it changes the pace and style of the game, so we debriefed and took a lot out of it with the things we need to do differently in the wet," Gray said.
"I'm hoping that will aid our preparation."
Thurgoona will come into this weekend's clash off the back of an eight-goal win against Kiewa Sandy Creek before the competition's bye last week.
Other games this weekend will see Barnawartha take on top of the table team Rutherglen at home, Dederang Mt Beauty will host Chiltern, Wodonga Saints set to face Yackandandah, Kiewa Sandy Creek matched up against Tallangatta, while Beechworth will look for their first win of the season against Wahgunyah.
Mitta United and Thurgoona's game will get underway at 2:50pm in Mitta on Saturday.
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