Saints head coach Luke Morgan is calling for his troops to be ready for a fight this weekend against local rivals Mansfield.
He said it was necessary for the Saints to perform well in the two remaining matches of the normal season, after another disappointing result at home — this time against Rochester.
The 37-74 loss to the Tigers, he said, was down to the home side’s sluggish start and missed scoring opportunities.
‘‘No, it’s not nice to lose to them, it’s not a great result,’’ Morgan said.
‘‘We’ve got two (games) to go in the regular season and we need to play well in both.
‘‘We didn’t start well and we missed opportunities — we let them get too far in front and by half-time they had pushed us out of the game.’’
Morgan said although the result was unsavoury, he was pleased to see youngsters Lachlan Thompson and Brody Webster named among the side’s best players on the day.
‘‘Brody has had a really good season so far,’’ Morgan said.
‘‘David Mennen has just come back from a knee injury and he’s been really good, too.
‘‘Lachlan Thompson has been up and down this season, but it’s pleasing to see him play good footy.’’
Morgan himself was among the wounded following the Tigers’ match.
He suffered a broken hand, but does not yet know how long he will be sidelined for.
In the under-18s match the Saints fell just short of a result against the Tigers.
After a week off, the game was a quiet one until Rochester broke up play and began scoring freely.
Benalla now needs a win to firm up a position in the top three against Mansfield.
Benalla 7.8.50 defeated by Rochester 9.6.60.
Benalla’s best were Michael Ryan, Wade King, Riley Johnson, Corry Westbury, Jack McLean and Jack Seketa.
In the reserves match the side was outplayed by a far stronger Rochester side.
The 177-point margin sees the reserves stay as wooden spoon hopefuls with one win from 16 matches.
Benalla 3.1.19 defeated by Rochester 30.16.196.
Benalla’s best were Brendan Anderson, Austin Thompson, Dale Nichols, Kaiden Skelton, Chris Anderson, and Kuyan Cooke.