FALLING to a first loss last week is motivation enough, but Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong coach Sam Martyn says last year's late fadeout at home against Wagga Tigers still burns before Sunday's clash at Ganman Sportsground.
The Lions led by almost four goals in the last quarter of their round two clash, to lose by a point after Luke Gestier kicked the last of his five second half goals on virtually the last play of the game.
Last week's 49-point loss to Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes was the Lions' first of the year, while the Tigers are looking to build on an encouraging seven point loss to Coolamon.
The Tigers have been dealt a blow with ruckman Tom Osmotherly unavailable to take on Lions big man Jacob Olsson after injuring his shoulder against the Hoppers.
It was Osmotherly's second match upon return from shoulder surgery, but the current injury is to his other shoulder.
However they do welcome back Charlie Bance, Nick Ryan and Jock Cornell from illness and injury.
Martyn also hopes to play after missing the Goannas clash with a sore quad, and was named on their half-back line on Friday.
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"I'm not too sure yet, the quad is feeling a bit better. It's obviously a game you'd like to get up for," Martyn said on Thursday.
You want to bank wins early in the season. I still remember that game last year, so I'm pretty keen to play.
"It was a really good footy game, and great to be a part of it until we got rolled late.
"You never want to lose any game (Goannas loss), but reality is it's a long journey and you're going to face obstacles along the way.
"You'd rather it be earlier in the year than when it comes to crunch time. We now what the measuring stick is now and where we need to get to, and we'll focus on fixing the issues for the next time we play Mango."
Nathan Cooke, a 'Mr Fix-It' for the Tigers, has seemingly found a home on the half-forward line as the Tigers look to increase their avenues to goal
Key forward Ryan Falkenberg debuted for the club last week but is unavailable for the trip to Ganmain.
Cooke's utility value may come to the fore again given he spent time in the ruck last week after Osmotherly was injured.
"I've been playing across half forward and especially having Murray (Stephenson, coach) playing there as well to learn off has been good," Cooke said.
"The last couple of years I've played a bit everywhere and have been training in the ruck as a back up, even though I'm a bit undersized.
Cooke said the team got plenty of belief out of pressing the Hoppers last week.
"It was the first game all year we've played four quarters of footy. The effort was there all day, we just missed some small opportunities and that was about it really," he said.
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