A HOME GROUND advantage and nearly full playing list weren't enough to help the Ararat Rats get up on the Horsham Saints at the weekend.
The traveling Saints faced off against the Rats during Round 13 of the Wimmera League and it quickly turned into a game of catch-up for the Rats.
The Saints came out strong with a six goal lead by the end of the first quarter, and widened that margin to 12 goals by half time.
The Rats were able to slowly pull their way back into the game, winning the third term to cut the deficit to 11 goals.
However, the Saints proved why they are the reigning premiers, running away with a 61-46 victory.
"It was disappointing to lose but I was pretty happy with how we went about it," Rats coach Taylor Mason said.
"There are definitely some areas we need to improve but as a whole we took a lot of positives away from the game.
"Our second quarter again was our lapse. We tried different things in the second half and that seemed to work."
Formidable sister duo Maggie and Rene Caris both took to the court for the Saints, with Maggie scoring 41 goals.
"Before the game even started when my girls saw the two Caris girls it was a bit of a mental thing, they might have gotten to us a little," Mason said.
The loss was the second one the Rats have suffered against the Saints, though last time they only lost by seven goals.
Ararat now sits one place above the Saints on the ladder at fourth and fifth place respectively.
Their spot in the top three is in jeopardy, with tough games against Horsham and Minyip-Murtoa still to come in the final rounds.
The Rats will have time to regroup after losing four of their last six games, fixtured with the bye next weekend.
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