LEETON-WHITTON have plenty of fight left in them as they forge ahead with their quest to defend last year’s premiership.
After defeating Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes last weekend, Crows coach Jade Hodge was certain the rest of the competition may have been slightly surprised at the result.
“Externally, yeah I think there definitely would have been a few that were surprised we beat Mango,” he said.
“Internally though, as a club, we always knew we could do it.
“We had some close contents through the year with them, but there was no doubt we could beat them again in the finals from our perspective.”
This weekend the Crows will take on Ganmain-Grong Grong-Lions in the semi-finals, again at Narrandera Sportsground.
Leeton-Whitton are yet to defeat the Lions this year after two relatively close encounters, but Hodge said the belief was there amongst his team.
“The first time we played them we let them get away to a good start, which wasn’t ideal,” he said.
“In the second match we were down a few personnel, so that didn’t help matters either.
“I’m certainly confident we can beat them.”
Adding to the pep in their step is the fact the side will be at full-strength.
“That’s always a good thing, especially during finals,” the coach said.
“Obviously that does provide a few selection headaches and some hard-luck stories, but that’s footy.”
While the Crows will again focus on playing a full four-quarter game, ruckman Mason Dryburgh said keeping GGGM’s Jacob Olsson quiet will also be a key.
“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 use my leap to my advantage.
“There’s no point in trying to get in a wrestle with him.”
Leeton-Whitton will need to stick to their game plan throughout the match as they aim to seek a position in next weekend’s preliminary final.
“Basically it’s what I say every week … we have to play those full quarters … we’re still yet to do that this season,” Hodge said.
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