Pios face TAC Cup champs

Bendigo Pioneer Ryley Barrack.

Bendigo Pioneer Ryley Barrack.

THE Bendigo Pioneers will chase their second win of the season when they face reigning TAC Cup premiers, the Eastern Ranges, at Highgate Recreation Reserve from 11.30am on Saturday.

The Pioneers are 1-3, with one of the most glaring aspects of their past two losses to the Northern Knights and Dandenong Stingrays their wasted chances inside 50.

The Pioneers have kicked a combined 9.25 in their past two games, with the old adage of bad kicking is bad footy ringing true.

"Our goalkicking has probably really dented the confidence of the boys over the past couple of weeks, because once one shot is missed, it then flowed into two and three and went from there," Pioneers coach David Newett said on Friday.

"We've had a really solid defensive unit with guys like Liam Barrett, Jordan Mangan, Dan Davie, Josh Ryan and Harry Conway, who have all stood up, but obviously, not being able to convert undoes a lot of their good work."

The Pioneers sit 11th on a congested TAC Cup ladder, with Bendigo only one game behind fifth-placed Western Jets.

"It's a fairly level playing field this year with a lot of teams similar to us, apart from probably Oakleigh and Calder," Newett said.

"The rest are in a bit of a bunch, so we certainly need to start getting some wins on the board, which needs to come from four consistent quarters of footy."

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