The Tumut Eagles will be searching for back-to-back wins in round seven of the Pascoe Cup competition when they host the Henwood Park Hawks at The Bull Paddock on Sunday.
Tumut are flying high after a strong three-nil win over Cootamundra, and they meet a Henwood Park side that were shock 3-1 losers to Young on Sunday.
Coach Lachlan Anderson highlighted that there were a few bumps and bruises out of a hard and fast game against the Strikers, but after the breakthrough win, confidence was high.
“(Ethan) Kass got a bit of a knock so we will see how that turns out,” Anderson said.
“Marvin (Sing’s) match fitness is improving after his injury, so to (Ethan) Contessa’s and it seems that everyone is really keen, the availabilities came in really quick this week, so in terms of fitness, we are looking good.”
Anderson didn’t want his squad to fall into a false sense of security after beating Cootamundra, explaining the result could have been more clinical.
“There were definitely things that we needed to discuss after the Coota game,” Anderson said.
“Yes, we won, but there was a feeling that we could’ve got more out of the game, which is a good thing to see as a coach, as it shows that the players want improvements for the team and themselves.”
The Hawks have been labelled by many Football Wagga Wagga pundits as one of the favourites to win the competition in 2021, and Anderson was hoping an enthusiastic playing group were prepared for a tough contest.
“Henwood will be another tough game. They always have a top first grade, so we need to be prepared for that,” Anderson said.
“This season, we’ve played our best football when we’ve showed no fear, and it’s become something we’ve been known for over the years.
“If we go into this game, or any game this season, we will always have a good chance of getting a result.”
Henwood park co-coach Matt Menser envisioned a tough trip to Tumut and he explained it was a must-win match for the fourth placed Hawks.
“Tumut is always a tough game. They always turn up and work hard and they love playing footy and they put in a lot of effort,” Menser said.
“We really need to bounce back and it is big game for us as we can’t afford to lost two in a row.”
Tumut’s speed and enthusiasm has Menser worried, especially if his side starts on the back foot.
“It’s always a physical match and if we are not on our game this weekend, we could drop some points, so we need to be prepared right from the first whistle,” Menser said.
The Wagga coach believed a tight-knit Pascoe Cup ladder made it hard to know what to think about other sides and their finals chances, although he did think Tumut were contenders, while he named Hanwood as the team to beat.
“It’s hard to get a read on, there has been a lot of close matches, you only have to look at Wagga United last week, they pushed Hanwood all the way,” Menser said.
“I do think Hanwood are the team to beat and I think six teams are fighting for the remaining three spots.”
In what should be an entertaining round seven of top flight action, Young host Leeton, Cootamundra take on Tolland, Lake Albert battle a visiting Hanwood and South Wagga and Wagga United renew their growing rivalry.
In the Blake Trophy competition, Tumut are on the road on Saturday when taking on the Lake Albert Red Sharks at Rawlings Park 6.
Tumut are fresh off a big win over Wagga United, but they meet a third-place Lake Albert who have only lost one game in 2021.
Kick off times
Saturday 3.25pm: Tumut v Lake Albert at Rawlings Park.
Sunday 3.20pm: Tumut v Henwood Park at The Bull Paddock.