EAGLEHAWK coach Josh Bowe says his side is determined to atone for its disappointing showing against Strathfieldsaye earlier in the BFNL season when it hosts the Storm on Saturday.
The Hawks are only percentage off top spot with their 9-2 record, but one of their two losses is a glaring blemish – a 57-point defeat to the Storm in round three.
“We were really disappointed with that result against Strath earlier in the season… no doubt we’ve got a point to prove on Saturday,” Bowe said on Friday.
“We had been really happy with our pre-season and had been able to win our first two games, albeit fairly ugly, but that Strath game was a bit of a reality check and probably the real kick we needed to make sure that we weren’t getting ahead of ourselves.”
Since their shocker against the Storm in round three, the Hawks have rebounded strongly with seven wins in their past eight games.
Such is the the way the ladder is looking, a win on Saturday could move the Hawks into top spot, while a loss and they instead run the risk of only being half-a-game inside the top three.
“We’re looking at this as the biggest game of our season so far,” said Bowe, who returns to the Hawks’ side from injury.
“There’s an opportunity to set our season up, or we can be back in the pack, so we certainly understand how important this game is.”
Strathfieldsaye’s big win over the Hawks in round three came on the back of the Storm having lost to Golden Square the previous week.
Again, the Storm will take on the Hawks on the rebound from a loss to Golden Square, having gone down to the Bulldogs by 46 points last start, ending their 30-game home winning streak.
The Storm will field a much stronger team this week with Tom Dowd, Torin Petrie and Jake Hall all back after injury-interruptions, while Jake Heavyside returns from suspension.
“It’s been a lot tougher picking the side when you’ve got those guys coming back,” Storm coach Darryl Wilson said.
“We’ve freshened the boys right up over the past couple of weeks, so we’re looking forward to having a crack.”
Meanwhile, the GWS Giants have been a talking point in the AFL this week after becoming the first team since 1921 to play two-consecutive draws against Hawthorn and Geelong.
The last BFNL team to play two draws in a row was Eaglehawk back in the 1988 season.
The Hawks drew 10.14 (74) apiece with Kyneton in round eight that season.
The following week the Hawks played another draw when scores were level 17.13 (115) each against Kangaroo Flat in round nine.
After drawing in those back-to-back 1988 matches, the Hawks have only played another two draws in their 548 games since.