It's two months since Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes copped a 66-point hiding from Wagga Tigers.
Coach Jeremy Rowe admits "everyone in the MCUE footy club is happy to put our hand up and say we copped an absolute touch-up" that day. And the memories of the round 11 mauling have been carried through every week since, leading all the way up to Sunday's sudden-death semi-final against, you guessed it, Wagga Tigers.
"We felt that that was a real benchmark performance that we'd come up against and we've spent pretty much all of our time since that making sure that if we got the opportunity we'd be in a much better place and we can't wait to see how far we've come on Sunday," Rowe said.
"We think we deserve the right to be there this Sunday. We think that we're going to be a very willing opponent. We're not turning up to give a good account of ourselves. We're turning up to win a finals game of footy and that's really exciting."
The Goannas are coming off a brilliant start to their do-or-die campaign, thumping Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong by 46 points. Mid-season signing Nick Collins is back for the showdown at Coolamon, named on a wing for his fifth appearance.
"We knew that we were getting a real class act when we got 'Collo' but to be honest, I really didn't know which way it would go with him having spent so much time overseas and footy not really being a big priority for him. But he's definitely made a massive difference to our side and we're stoked to bring him in," Rowe said.
"His dash, his composure and his skill execution will be very important to everything that happens for us on Sunday."
Rowe also welcomed the not guilty verdict for midfielder Nick McCormack at the tribunal on Thursday night.
"Very relieved to have Nick back. He's our reigning best-and-fairest winner and a guy who's had a terrific season. He looks after our mids and really drives what happens in there," he said.
As for the opposition, Rowe said Tigers' depth across the field is their strength but identified Nick Ryan, Brendy Myers, Dylan Morton and Jesse Manton among those who bear particular watching.
"They're all guys that are real key to them, amongst other keys, and we'll be doing our best to lower their influence on the game of footy, which will be a difficult task because they are good players but we've got guys who we're going to assign match-ups to that we think can get a job done for us and we'll show full confidence in them," Rowe said.
Tigers had two chances to take a spot in the second semi-final but their consecutive losses to Griffith put paid to that.
They were also upset by Turvey Park a month ago. But Rowe says there's no suggestion they're flailing.
"On the surface, sure, if you've lost three out of your last four, you may think that a side's on the decline," he said.
"But we certainly don't think that at all. Griffith have been their last two losses and we played Griffith not too long ago and they're in a terrific vein of form. The game on the weekend was played a high standard by both sides and we reckon we're going to get the best version of the Tigers this week.
"We don't think that anything that's happened in recent times will have lowered their confidence and we'll be ready for them at their best."