John Hoey has been a linchpin for Wagga RSL coming into finals, but will miss the clash with Kooringal Colts this weekend.
Hoey is one of two forced changes for the Bulldogs as they look to keep their season alive at McPherson Oval.
Opener Dylan Koop is also unavailable for the first week of finals.
Coming off a loss to St Michaels, coach Neil Morton admitted it is far from the ideal way to come into the important match.
“Last week’s result was disappointing and probably not the way we want to go into our first final in a few years,” Morton said.
“But it is what it is.
“We’re going alright and have a few guys away for the game for personal reasons unfortunately, which isn’t ideal, but the side we will go with is one we think is capable of winning the game.”
Hoey made an unbeaten 23 last week while Koop made 22 at the top of the order.
Hoey has been in good form over the past month and Morton believes his loss will be felt in each facet of the game.
“Down the bottom of the order Hoey has been outstanding in the last few games,” he said.
“He’s got us out of a hole on many occasions and even his enthusiasm in the field is going to be a big loss too.
“He’s fit, he runs all day and is quick.
“To try and cover him other guys have to do a little bit.”
In some good news Tim Cameron returns to side after missing the loss to Saints.
However the second replacement is yet to be determined.
Wagga RSL scraped home for a one-wicket win over Kooringal Colts three rounds ago.
It was a result which helped them cement a finals return.
The victory gives some confidence but Morton is very wary of David Bolton’s side.
“It will be a very even contest between us and them and it always is,” he said.
“Batting wise for them Dave Bolton is the key and if we can get him relatively cheap it is a good start.
“In saying that there is 10 other guys who if we don’t give them the respect they can hurt us.
“Max Hillier has been bowling well for them so if we can negate him that will put us in good stead.”
With Colts finishing in third spot, Wagga RSL need to win to progress to the preliminary final.
With that in mind Morton is looking to take an aggressive approach into the match at McPherson Oval.
“It is a game we think we can win and we have to win as we can’t play for draws,” he said.
“We are going out there with an attacking frame of mind to win the game and win the game well hopefully.”
Colts are also looking to hit back after a big loss to Wagga City last week.