Leeton-Whitton ruckman Mason Dryburgh believes the Crows’ first finals win will be a big boost as they look to keep their premiership defence alive.
Winless in their last three games of the regular season, young side rallied after being 30 points down in the second quarter to end Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes’ season on Sunday.
Dryburgh was part of the premiership win last year and believes the new-look group will really benefit from the taste of finals football.
“It didn’t go to plan in the first quarter and a half, but then we got back to our game plan and showed our best footy in that second half,” Dryburgh said.
“All the young fellas are really buying in so it is exciting.
“We’ve lost a lot from last year, but all the young blokes have come in and really stepped up.”
The 24-year-old thought Crows’ younger brigade helped turn the tide.
“I thought the leaders, our senior players, were really good and the kids played exceptional,” Dryburgh said.
Now they tackle Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in the first semi-final at Narrandera Sportsground on Sunday.
Dryburgh believes controlling the midfield will be the key to getting the better of the Lions for the first time this season as they look to keep their premiership defence alive.
GGGM scored a 19-point win when the teams last met four weeks ago after a 14-point win in round seven.
He has a big task coming up against Jacob Olsson in the ruck.
“There’s no doubt he’s the best ruckman in the comp, but it will be a good challenge and I’ve just got to try to negate him a bit and curb his influence in the game,” Dryburgh said. “He’s obviously a bigger body so I try to just my leap to my advantage.
“There’s no point in trying to get in a wrestle with him.”
The Lions are out to hit back after a five-point loss to Collingullie-Glenfield Park on Saturday.