TEMORA coach Russell Humphrey is well aware of the importance of Saturday's clash against North Wagga.
The Saints, technically still the Farrer League's reigning premiers, will travel to Nixon Park to take on Temora looking to avoid three straight losses to start the year.
But Humphrey's men, who had the bye in round one, will also be hungry as they look to bring up their first win of the year and prove they are finals challenger.
"We're looking forward to North Wagga. They're obviously a competitive side, a proud footy club and they don't want to be naught and three," Humphrey said.
"Realistically, we don't want to be naught and two either. It has a lot more (importance) now."
Temora fell to East Wagga-Kooringal last week, kicking 3.12 in the 42-point loss at Gumly Oval.
After a club bye to start the year, and then the Easter general bye after just one game, Humphrey is looking forward to Temora getting stuck into their campaign.
"The good thing for us is we get a run at it now. Every week until the Queen's Birthday, then we get a bye and another bye," he said.
Humphrey got his first taste of Farrer League footy against the Hawks when coaching Temora for the first time.
He was happy enough with the outing.
"I think we were competitive at times, which is important for us. I think it was a massive learning curve for us, collectively, both myself and for the side," Humphrey said.
"The scores don't look good, I know they kicked 12 points (as well) but 3.12 didn't help. We were 1.5 at quarter time to 1.2, if we're 4.2 or even 5.1, who knows. Especially after the week before where they faded out in the second half against Marrar so we just didn't capitalise in front of goal, and again I understand they didn't either so it's a bit horses for courses on that one there.
"We were happy with patches of play but we weren't consistent enough with that."
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Temora welcome back Pat Walker this week, who has returned home after time with Wollongong Bulldogs in the AFL South Coast league.
He will provide another valuable avenue to goals for Temora.
"Looking back, we were probably a bit small (in round one)," Humprhey said.
"We looked at the weather and it was supposed to rain on Saturday possibly and the ground itself was in pretty good nick. Obviously if Pat was available he would have played so there will be at least one change.
"A couple of boys who played in the twos, may have played ones but were crook and couldn't train both performed well so that was handy. I think from what I can gather from around the club itself, there's a bit more depth than what there was last year."
Having made the move from Melbourne to Temora for the coaching job, it was Humphey's first look at the Farrer League against EWK.
He said it was what he expected.
"In all honesty, nothing caught me off guard. The style of footy that it was, was pretty much what I thought it would be," he said.
"Some of the footy here is a second division, third division comp, or style of play, where it's a bit more congested and things like that, and a bit more physical, where the top sides in the premier leagues in the local metro comps, they're a little bit more open."
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