MITIAMO has been dealt a blow for its top-of-the-table clash with Maiden Gully YCW on Saturday, with playing coach Laura Hicks confirming her unavailability.
The four-time league medallist has been ruled out due to health and safety protocols, robbing the Superoos of much-needed firepower in attack against the league leaders.
It means both clubs will be without the services of their playing coaches, with Maiden Gully YCW's Christie Griffiths still nursing the calf injury which sidelined her in last week's 12-goal win over fellow premiership aspirants Calivil United.
Despite her absence, Hicks has backed the Superoos to mount a formidable challenge on the back of six straight wins since their last loss, which came at the hands of the Eagles in round seven.
"Promising for us, we have had a few good lead-up games, but every week seems a bit different for us in terms of what players we have available and this week is no different," she said.
"Our form is pretty good when we get our players on the court.
"Luckily, the two times we've had our full team have been Marong and Calivil, which have been our two best games.
"That last time we played them (Maiden Gully YCW), it was only really one bad quarter that did it and they got 12 goals ahead.
LAST TIME THEY MET: Eagles fly high over rival powerhouse
"We were never able to get it back from there, so this time we'll be looking for a bit more consistency across the four quarters."
Used to drawing on B-graders this season to fill the breach left by injured and ill players, Hicks said whoever stepped up this week would slot in with ease and familiarity.
At the very least, the Superoos will be looking forward to another finals-like pressure contest.
"(Maiden Gully YCW) is definitely top-of-the-ladder for a reason - consistency is an obvious strength for them," she said.
"They are definitely the team to beat.
"It's going to be interesting coming into finals when you could lose one player, two players at the drop of a hat."
Rival coach Griffiths is confident the Eagles can extend their winning momentum, having remained unbeaten since their opening round loss to Marong.
"I was really impressed with the girls last weekend, especially given the weather, so to come away with a great win against Calivil going into this game against Mitty, it's a good base," she said.
"It will be tough, but I think our girls are in good form.
"It was actually good (last week) watching it from the side and to see it from a different perspective as a coach."
Griffiths is expecting Mitiamo to be pretty pumped after going down to the Eagles by 13 goals in May.
"You always get that good challenge and contest with them - Mitiamo especially, Calivil and Bridgewater, you can never go in thinking the game is yours," she said.
"It just depends on the day and how your goalers shoot.
"You just have to play and trust you can come out on top."
The Eagles are getting strong contributions from all areas of the court, with versatile midcourter Leisa Barry leading the charge with another stellar season.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater and Newbridge will reignite their rivalry from earlier in the season when they clash at Bridgewater.
When they last played, the Mean Machine came from behind to defeat the Maroons by two goals after trailing by three goals at three quarter time and for the majority of the contest.
An injury in the final 90 seconds to defender Meg Jennings with the Maroons in front on the scoreboard proved crucial to the outcome.
Newbridge is coming off its biggest win of the season by 58 goals over Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, while finals bound Bridgewater impressed before the bye in a five-goal victory over Calivil United.
At Serpentine, Marong will look to move a step closer to nailing down the double chance when it clashes with Bears Lagoon-Serpentine.
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