Coach Will Ryan has urged Figtree to show they can make an impact in the AFL South Coast finals by claiming a couple of major scalps on the way in.
The Kangaroos will have one more shot at each of the top three teams, starting with Saturday’s trip to Keira Oval to play Wollongong Bulldogs.
Ryan admits the frustration of coming within a couple of kicks of beating premiers Wollongong Lions, Kiama and the Dogs this year, but said it was important to break through before their September campaign begins.
“You want to go into finals with confidence, knowing you can do it,” he said.
“Sometimes it has been a bit hard, because we’ve been slamming on the door for a while without being able open it.
“But we’ve got some great leaders in the club, guys like Nick Stacey, Matt Stark and Simon Quinn, so there’s still plenty of belief there.”
The Roos are three games and a handy percentage buffer ahead of Shellharbour, which almost certainly guarantees them finals action, but Ryan has previously revealed his vision to turn them into the next South Coast powerhouse club.
It means they will likely face the Dogs again in an elimination final, but they will face competition leaders Kiama next week and the Lions in the last round beforehand.
Ryan said the Roos would focus on finding some more outside run on Saturday, to match the pace of the Dogs, who almost overwhelmed the Lions in a thriller last weekend.
“They’re a hard team to stop when they have momentum,” Ryan said.
“So we know the challenge we face. Every game ebbs and flows, but we know we have to take our chances and stop them stringing together three and four goals in a row.”
AFL SOUTH COAST
NORTHERN DISTRICTS v KIAMA at Hollymount Park (2pm)
WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS v FIGTREE at Keira Oval (2pm)
SHELLHARBOUR v WOLLONGONG LIONS at Myimbarr Oval (2.30pm)
Ladder: KIAMA 12-1 (363.01%), WOLLONGONG LIONS 12-1 (290.62), WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS 9-4 (211.17), FIGTREE 7-6 (134.13), Shellharbour 4-9 (90.59), Northern Districts 3-10 (51.93).
WOLLONGONG SAINTS v NOWRA-ALBATROSS at North Dalton Park (11.30am)
BOMADERRY v DAPTO at Artie Smith Oval (12.30pm)
NORTHERN DISTRICTS v KIAMA at Hollymount Park (12.30pm)
ULLADULLA v WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS at Ulladulla Sports Park (12.30pm)
WOLLONGONG LIONS bye
Ladder: Bomaderry 11-1 (362.10), Wollongong Lions 10-2 (414.96), Kiama 8-4 (251.23), Wollongong Saints 8-4 (196.12), Wollongong Bulldogs 6-5 (148.08), Northern Districts 5-7 (142.05), Ulladulla 3-9 (57.87), Nowra-Albatross 1-11 (13.62), Dapto 0-12 (6.30).