North Wagga coach Cayden Winter isn't panicking after two losses to start the season, concentrating on the fact that their good football against Marrar on Saturday was a reminder of what they're capable of.
Saints looked smooth and exciting in a dominant first quarter, with four goals to none against the Bombers at McPherson Oval, and they controlled the game for much of the second too.
But having taken nearly two quarters to build a seven-goal advantage, they watched it disappear all too quickly in the third quarter, unable to stop a momentum swing from becoming a game-changing avalanche.
"I thought their centre clearance work was really good. We couldn't really stop their momentum in there," Winter said.
"In saying that, I thought in the first half, they couldn't control our momentum. In the second we couldn't wrest it back our way. That's how it ended up a tale of two halves."
A 2-and-0 start obviously wasn't in the plan for this season (North Wagga were upset by the Northern Jets in round one).
It will sit with the Saints for two weeks at least, given this weekend's general bye for Easter, and they'll look ahead to round three at Temora knowing things could get desperate quickly.
But rather than feeling pressure building, Winter said it's more productive to worry about consistently applying it.
"I would've liked to have a win on the board but I don't think it's panic stations," Winter said.
"We showed ourselves we could get to really winnable positions in both games. We didn't get the job done but we'll work on that in the next month.
"Our pressure acts were through the roof in the first half (against Marrar) and in the second half they were probably the lowest they've been all year which is pretty disappointing.
"I thought in the second half we couldn't move the ball the way we wanted to. When we got the ball, we were panicky and fumbly, which comes back to their pressure.
"But I'm not too stressed about it. We showed that if we can string four quarters together of our best footy, we can beat any team in the comp. But the challenge is doing it for four quarters, and consistently."
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Marrar might have been cheering about the 20-point win but coach Shane Lenon is ready to work on the obvious faults as soon as the dust was settling on Saturday, knowing their pressure was right down in both first halves this year.
"We've got to make sure that we get out of the blocks. If we keep giving starts, we're not going to keep getting out of jail, so to speak," Lenon said.
"It's certainly an area we've got to work on. But in saying that, we're a work in progress. We've got the Canberra boys and a few new players still finding their feet.
"But those new blokes and young blokes now know what sort of a culture they're involved in at Marrar."
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