THE Colac Tigers know their finals hopes rest on the result of this weekend’s clash with Lara.
The Cats loom as the Tigers’ biggest competitor for fifth spot on the Geelong Football League ladder with three rounds remaining.
Both teams have nine wins and six losses and face winnable matches in the run home, meaning it could all come down to tomorrow’s result at Central Reserve.
“This will be season-defining, this one,” Colac coach Matt Gibson said.
“If we drop this we’ll virtually cancel ourselves out of finals so we know how important it is,” he said.
Past results don’t bode well for Colac after Lara thumped the Tigers by 95 points in round five.
But Gibson said a lot had changed since that game, and labelled it one of his team’s worst performances of the year.
“That was one of the poorest days we’ve had all season, simply from lack of willingness to work together and work as a team,” he said.
“I think we’ve made some significant changes in effort and intensity and we’re playing a better style of footy as a team.
“We’ve really got to make amends for that last performance because it was absolutely terrible.”
Ruckman Lochie Veale will return as the team’s only change and Gibson said the coaching staff faced a selection headache for the clash.
“We’ve got to weigh up whether we need talls or runners if Lara has got all its VFL players,” he said.
“They’ve got some good talls but they’ve got some good midfielders – they’ll be a challenge to maintain.
“We’ve just got to put pressure on through the middle, and make it easier for our defenders.”
Gibson said Jay Baulch or Paul Presani were chances to take athletic Lara forward Shaydon Bloomfield, who kicked 10 goals the Cats’ thrashing of Leopold last round.
In other GFL games, fellow finals aspirant Leopold takes on Grovedale, Newtown and Chilwell hosts Geelong West-St Peters, St Josephs takes on Bell Park in a possible finals preview, North Shore takes on St Albans and St Marys faces South Barwon.