A lack of commitment has hurt Ag College so far this season, but new captain Cam Duffy believes the team is determined to turn it around before it is too late.
University holidays have cruelled player numbers, but Duffy believes the tide has turned as finals approach.
Seven points outside the top five, their season goes on the line in a cross-town clash with Wagga City at Beres Ellwood Oval on Saturday.
With three games remaining before finals, Aggies can still make the business end of the season, but need to start winning.
They’ve only tasted success once in the last five rounds, against winless Griffith, to sit perilously close to dropping out of contention.
While they’ve got a high injury count, Duffy admitted poor commitment has been the biggest problem.
“It’s been hard to get everyone at training and our continuity as a first grade side has been struggling and that’s showing in our games,” Duffy said. “It is (a lack of) commitment.
“It’s a bit of a stab in the back to the people who do turn up each week, who train and drive the extra mile.”
However with good numbers at training this week, Duffy believes the group is finally prepared to put in the hard yards to turn things around.
“Uni is back, we had a big turn out at training on Tuesday so everyone is very excited for this weekend.”
“We know how important it is to our season.
“From here on in every game is a grand final game for us, it’s do-or-die really.”
Coach Will Mitchell is hoping they can find the spark needed to revive their season before it is too late after going with Waratahs for the first half last week.
“We aren’t too far away from a longer term performance, we stuck it Tahs for quite a bit of that game,” Mitchell said.
Old captain Tom Macleay returns for the clash while Andy Stanham comes back from concussion, replacing Max Woods at fullback after he was concussed last week.
Meanwhile, Wagga City are expecting to face an opponent desperate to come away with the points.
With that in mind, coach Michael Kanck wants his team to be wary.
“We are in a finals football frame of mind as far as getting our patterns and structures right and that is what we are focusing on,” Kanck said.
“We aren’t taking Ag College lightly this weekend as they are still a mathematical chance of making finals.
“A result against us is key for them going forward.”
Jayden Stanton comes back for the clash, joining Drew Martin in the halves.
Keifer Power returns to inside centre with Jarrod Peterson on the wing for the suspended Junior Tuvale.
James Maloney is expected to come off the bench after missing the win over the Steamers due to concussion.