MANGOPLAH-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes will welcome back key duo Col Sanbrook and Mitch Daniher for Sunday’s showdown with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
The Goannas lost consecutive games before last week’s bye but the week off worked wonders in more ways than one.
Relegated to second spot after the loss to Wagga Tigers, results went the Goannas’ way over the weekend with the four points from the bye putting them back on top of the Riverina League ladder.
The bye also gave another week’s rest and recovery to Sanbrook and Daniher.
Both will return for the important clash against the Lions at Ganmain Sportsground.
“Col’s had three weeks now so he’s good,” co-coach Chris Daniher said.
“Mitch is right to go too.
“Now it’s all about getting your best players playing games together to build some confidence towards the end of the year.”
The Goannas had been flying until the losses to Leeton-Whitton and Wagga Tigers.
While beaten, they were far from disgraced in both, apart from a goalless second half against Tigers.
Daniher said the bye came at the right time.
“The bye came at a good time, we had a few injuries at that point in time,” he said.
“With the week off, hopefully they’ll be alright for Ganmain and we’ll go from there.
“In the middle of winter, towards the end of July, it’s a good time for a bye.”
Daniher admits he was surprised to see his team on top of the ladder after the weekend.
“It was after the weekend, but I’m sure there will be a few more surprises before the year is out,” he said.
“It’s just tightened it up.
“Everyone’s got so much to play for.”
For the Goannas, Sunday is a must-win if they want to finish on top.
GGGM need to win to keep their finals chances alive.
With five rounds to play, Daniher is not setting his sights on any particular spot on the ladder just yet.
“The competition is that tight you can only go week to week,” he said.
“If you think any further, obviously you want to win all five but that’s out of your control at this stage because everyone is trying to win every game.”
Jock Cornell will miss Sunday’s game due to representative commitments with NSW-ACT.
MCUE will otherwise be at full-strength.
GGGM rested James Lawton and Sam Hatty from the win over Turvey Park last weekend in a bid to be right for the Goannas.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.