A month out from finals, East Wagga-Kooringal set about restoring order to their campaign, as the return of five key players helped them to their first win in three weeks.
The Hawks' 14.8 (92) to 9.5 (59) win against Charles Sturt University steered the pre-season favourites back into the top three (after Temora's loss at Marrar).
It was as bad for the Bushpigs as it was helpful to the Hawks, with CSU now facing an almighty challenge to make finals, languishing two wins behind Coleambally (fifth) and the Northern Jets (sixth).
For EWK coach Matt Hard, the hint of consistency, as well as the outcome, was something of a relief.
"It was still patchy but we played a lot better than we have the last couple of weeks so it was good to turn it around," Hard said.
"Probably what I liked most was an even performance across the paddock... it was good to turn the corner in a lot of areas and get some continuity. And we got no further injuries so it was good."
Full-back Trent Garner's return as well as Max Tiernan and Tom Pocock boosted the Hawks defence while Daniel Hitchens and Chris Ladhams added experience up the ground.
Fighting to stay in touch with the five, CSU came to play and led by a goal at quarter-time. But the Hawks made their move in the second, when six goals helped them to a 19-point lead at half-time.
"Our second quarter we had some really good passages but to their credit they kept fighting, and we knew they'd come out firing, so we were happy to come away with the win," Hard said.
"Our back six set up really well. I think since round five we've had one or two or three or four out, and at some stage all six, so it was good to get the band back together."
Once in control, the Hawks weren't about to slip up for a third straight week, and consolidated their lead in the second half adding another six goals to CSU's four, for a 33-point win.
The Hawks were without ruckman Nick Hull and midfielder Harry Fitzsimmons but expect both to be back after next week's bye.
They still won a good share of football in the midfield against a gallant CSU, and forwards Chris Jackson (five goals) and Ladhams (four) made the most of the service.
"They gave us really good targets up forward. But I was just really happy with the even contribution," Hard said.
Kyle North-Flanagan's faced a tough workload this season and again rucked solidly for four quarters in a good battle with Tom Stapleton, while Pocock, Hayden Nelson and Ethan Andrews stood up in defence.
As well as Stapleton, midfielders Lou Miller and Max Hanrahan worked hard throughout for CSU along with Brayden Ambler who kicked two goals.