After an inconsistent start to the BFNL season, Gisborne coach Rob Waters says it's time his team stood up against quality opposition.
Unbeaten at home and winless on the road through five rounds, the Bulldogs travel to Canterbury Park this Saturday to play an Eaglehawk side that has only lost once at home in the past three seasons.
Gisborne bounced back from defeat to South Bendigo with a 212-point drubbing of Castlemaine last Saturday, but Waters said that victory would count for little against the in-form Borough.
"It's all well and good to play well against the bottom teams, but you're rated by how you play against the quality teams,'' Waters said.
"If we want to play at the pointy end of the season we need to beat these teams.
"Eaglehawk is one of the yardsticks of the competition, so we'll need to be at our best to match it with them.
"They're a great club and they're flying at the moment, so they'll be mighty hard to beat on their ground.
"We lost to Square up there and we lost to South at the QEO. You can't just win at home, we've got to win some away games against these quality teams."
Veteran Anthony Belcher, Matt Cassidy and Lachlan Crosbie are knocking on the door to return to the senior side this week.
With a new coach and several new players, Waters said it was always going to take time for his side to get its chemistry right.
"We haven't been able to settle yet,'' Waters said.
"Every week we seem to have a few in and a few out, so it's been hard to get some consistency.
"We'll get there, though, it's a long year."
Meanwhile, South Bendigo playing coach Nathan Horbury will contest his striking report from Saturday's game against Sandhurst at the QEO.
Horbury was offered an automatic two-week suspension after he was reported for striking Sandhurst midfielder Joel Wharton in the final quarter.
However, after reviewing the footage, Horbury and the Bloods decided to defend the charge. The hearing will take place on Wednesday night at 7.30pm.
The Bloods play Strathfieldsaye this Saturday.
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