East Wagga-Kooringal will hope to welcome some troops back in a fortnight's time after just doing enough to get over Temora on Saturday.
The Hawks will head into the bye on the back of an uninspiring 24-point victory over the winless Kangaroos, 9.12 (66) to 6.6 (42) at Nixon Park.
Temora produced one of their best efforts of the season to get within four goals of the second-placed Hawks.
EWK coach Matt Hard was pleased to come away with a win despite not being able to produce their best.
"It was a game that never reached any great heights," Hard said.
"Full credit to Temora, they had a real good crack. We didn't play well and just done enough to get through I reckon."
Temora never got close enough to the Hawks to give them a serious scare but kicked the last couple of goals of the game to close the margin.
Will Reinhold had another big game for Temora, while Kade Rowbotham and Nathan Scott were the Hawks' best.
It was the Hawks' first win at Nixon Park under Hard.
Their last win at the venue came back in 2017.
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