THE Griffith Swans’ Riverina Football League finals aspirations will go on the line tomorrow when they host top-of-the-table Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka in a blockbuster clash at Exies Oval.
After stringing together some impressive winning streaks during the season, Griffith has lost three of its past four games before its bye last weekend.
As a result, the Swans have dropped out of the top five and are now in a neck-and-neck race with Narrandera to secure the last place in the play-offs.
“We’re only concentrating on one week at a time at the moment, because obviously it’s a big game this weekend,” Swans coach Guy Orton said.
“All of the boys are really looking forward to this one, we’ve come up against byes before big games before this season and sometimes people might go away.
“But we’ve turned the corner and we had a lot of good numbers in the last two training sessions.
“I said to them after the Ganmain game ‘we’ve worked so hard to get to where we are let’s not drop off from it’.
“We’ve got to work hard this week, but there are good signs on the track and the guys have really put in the quality.”
Griffith needs to win its last two games of the season unless Narrandera drops both of its games against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes if it is to make the top five.
But with CAK winning its last four games by an average of 86 points and Orton admitting Marc Geppert is on his side’s radar, the Swans will need to pull out a consistent four-quarter performance.
“We as a team were pretty disappointed with how we got pumped by them when we last played them, so we’re just keen to go in there get the job done and throw a spanner in the works,” Orton said.
“Practicing with finals-like pressure is what we’ve been working on a lot over the past couple of weeks, especially last Friday night and Monday being a couple of our last main training sessions.
“You do have to replicate finals pressure at training among other things, but much of it being under pressure and simulating what it is going to be like.”
The Swans have the benefit of playing their crucial finals games of the regular season at Exies Oval, with Orton hoping for a bumper crowd tomorrow to push them across the line against the Demons.
“It does make a big difference and we’re just really looking forward to running out to play the top-of-the-table side on our home ground,” he said.
“You want to say you never lose at home, because that’s something we always try to do, but I know a lot of teams don’t like coming across to play us here, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage early on.”