Ararat goes into Sunday’s elimination semi-final against Horsham Saints with an interesting mental advantage.
The Saints take on the Rats at Dimboola on Sunday afternoon, the only team they have been unable to beat this season.
They have taken care of every other side at least once – including top two teams Horsham and Southern Mallee Giants – but were unable to take four points away from the Rats during the home and away season.
The Rats won a thrilling one-point contest in round two before recording a comfortable 73-point win at Alexandra Oval in round 11.
“The both games were pretty even, just the second time around we had no bench at the end of the game so they were able to overrun us in the last quarter,” Saints coach Luke Fisher said.
“We may not have respected them enough but for sure we respect them now having falling short against them twice.”
The Saints go into the clash against the Rats off the back of a narrow one-goal win over Warrack Eagles last weekend.
Fisher said his side is in a good place.
“Everyone is pretty happy after last week’s tight win,” he said.
“We want to bring the same team effort we had against Warrack to Sunday’s game.
“Other sides rely on certain guys to get them over the line but we are a side that needs even contribution across the board.”
Ararat has a different run of form leading into the match, having lost to Southern Mallee Giants last Saturday.
Ararat coach Shane Fisher said even though his side lost they gained valuable experience.
“The mood is good in the group. The fact we get another chance is great, but there is no security this weekend,” he said.
“I thought we looked competitive in the second half of last week which gives us some confidence.”
Fisher said while his side is confident having beaten the Saints twice this year they are not taking their opponent for granted.
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“It was a fairly impressive game from them on Sunday. We know the Saints have a young, quick running brigade and will go in confident,” he said.
“If we are close all game we know we can put it up to them because we have done it this season already.
“The way the Saints play defensively it can go the other way very quickly if we aren’t accountable and focused.”
Both sides are unlikely to make many changes to their teams, happy with their sides that played last weekend.
“There might only be one if any,” Shane Fisher said.
“We are happy with the side we have got in at the moment.”