THE Bendigo Pioneers are bracing for what looms as one of their toughest challenges of the NAB League girls season on Sunday.
The Pioneers take on early season pace-setters Dandenong Stingrays at Highgate Recreation Reserve in round three.
The Stingrays have been in devastating form in the opening two rounds with a pair of big wins over the Gippsland Power (135 points) and Geelong Falcons (49 points).
The Pioneers, though, will carry in the confidence of their first win of the year last week when they produced one of the best performances in their six seasons with a 50-point belting of the GWV Rebels.
"No doubt it's going to be a big test for us against a quality opposition, but one we are really looking forward to," Pioneers coach Danny O'Bree said on Friday.
"We're going in with the mindset of let's take on the best and see how we stack up."
The Pioneers have six forced changes from last week's winning team with four injuries, one concussion and one unavailability.
"I still believe our group doesn't fully believe yet just how good they are," O'Bree said.
I still believe our group doesn't fully believe yet just how good they are- Danny O'Bree - Pioneers coach
"They will have taken some confidence from the way they played last week and now it's about playing with confidence consistently and believing they can be more than competitive against any opposition."
Sunday's Pioneers' side includes Lila Keck and Lou Painter, who both earned a berth in the round two NAB League girls Team of the Week following their performances in the win over the Rebels.
Sunday's Bendigo-Dandenong game starts at 10.50am.
B: S. Hobbs, M. Marks, E. Everist
HB: E. Bell, T. Willams, J. Douglass
C: K. Fullerton, S. Orritt, C. Evans
HF: E. Gilligan, A. Gregor, L. Keck
F: D. Ryan, A. Zadow, S. Demeo
FOLL: F. Pearce, L. Painter, O. Di Donato
INTER: J. Cooper, S. Cooper, E. Daly, S. Johnston, A. Donnelly, M. Pianta
EMERG: L. Moss
NAB LEAGUE GIRLS LADDER:
1. Dandenong (2-0, 625.7%), 2. Sandringham (2-0, 120.7%), 3. Eastern (1-0, 253.3%), 4. Tasmania (1-1, 147.5%), 5. Murray (1-1, 130.6%), 6. Oakleigh (1-1, 123.3%), 7. GWV Rebels (1-1, 114.1%), 8. Bendigo (1-1, 113.0%), 9. Calder (1-1, 80.3%), 10. Geelong (1-1, 63.4%), 11. Northern (0-2, 60.9%), 12. Western (0-1, 52.3%), 13. Gippsland (0-2, 7.6%).
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