Tatura’s clash with the Shepparton Swans will have two of round one’s losers square off.
Having waited a fortnight to make amends from the round one collapse against Echuca, the Bulldogs are raring to go for the contest at Tatura Park.
But while they gave the Murray Bombers a massive push, the Swans were uncompetitive against Mansfield in their season opener, smashed by 131 points.
Coach Justin George said the past did not matter — it was time his side stood up and put in an improved showing.
‘‘It’s massively important for our players and their self-confidence; we need to go out there and put on a much better display,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re just sticking with the plan, we’re a young squad and some of our guys just weren’t ready for the challenges of GVL footy.’’
A young Swans line-up seemed overwhelmed by the intensity of Mansfield and George expected his side would be better for the run.
Tatura looked a serious force in the first three quarters against Echuca, but ran out of legs to lose by seven points.
Coach Jamason Daniels said the loss was disappointing, but he had seen enough to think his side would be a factor moving forward.
‘‘To be honest, we took a lot of positives from that game, they’re a good outfit and when you look at the way we played in those first three quarters, it was really promising,’’ he said.
‘‘You’re never 100 per cent sure what’s going to happen in round one until you get out there against a side trying to stop you.
‘‘Sometimes it’s better to learn these lessons earlier in the season.’’
And being beware of a wounded animal is a lesson the Dogs learned the hard way last year, when the Swans bounced back from an eight-goal drubbing against Mansfield to beat Tatura the following week.
‘‘No-one likes a result like that and they’ll come out firing,’’ he said.
‘‘We had a similar situation when we played them last season and that’s exactly what ended up happening.
‘‘We need to rectify what happened last season, but we can’t go in too worried about what they’re going to do.’’
Billy Lovell and Che Walls miss the game, while Jaydan Thewma and Murray Bushranger Charlie Hill will come in to the side.
Another inclusion is Ethan Moor, with Daniels thrilled to announce the blue chip prospect’s debut.
‘‘I’m pretty excited about this, he was a kid I wanted to play last year as a 16-year-old,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been around footy a lot and this is one of the most talented and exciting 17-year-olds I’ve ever seen.’’