Junee are looking to hit back in their big clash against Gundagai after tumbling to fourth following a shock loss to Temora at Laurie Daley Oval.
The Diesels have gone behind the Tigers on the compressed Group Nine ladder following the 28-12 loss on Sunday.
Stand-in captain Trent Schubach said a lack of numbers really hurt their chances.
“It was a bit of a shock and Temora played pretty well, but we had a lot of people pull out midweek and with a couple of boys still overseas we probably had seven or eight first graders missing,” Schubach said.
“But you still have go out there and win the games of footy.”
Simon Wilson, Aidan Sweeney, Rusiate Kaliseiwaqa and Fale Malase all come out of the side who downed Albury while Daniel Foley and Matt Hands are still away on holidays.
Schubach thought they lacked fluency in attack while their defensive game needs a lot of adjusting at training during the week.
The loss to the eighth-placed Dragons hurts their finals hopes and means Gundagai and Cootamundra have joined them on 14 points.
Junee tackle Gundagai, Cootamundra and Southcity in their next three games, who are all in finals contention, before an away game against last placed Young to complete the season.
Schubach is looking to get back on track against Gundagai.
“It will be a massive game,” Schubach said.
“We’re sitting on the same as them on the ladder now so whoever wins this week will probably go a long way towards making finals.”
Junee scored a 40-18 win when the teams last met but this time around the Tigers bring winning form into the clash after knocking Brothers off the top of the ladder.
Schubach expects a much tougher test at Anzac Park on Sunday.
“They’ve got players back and we’ve probably lost players so it probably evens it out a bit,” he said.
The Diesels will be sweating on the fitness of hooker Hayden Diggins for the clash.
He came off with a knee complaint on Sunday and is waiting for further news on the severity.