Barooga continued its rough start to the Murray Football League season with a 28-point defeat against Deniliquin Rams at Hardinge St Oval.
The Hawks had a dismal opening term, kicking just the one major and trailing by 38 points.
The side fought back into the contest to trail by 22 points at three-quarter-time but James Hazelman’s outfit could not push on.
‘‘Lapses seem to be a common theme for us this season and it is costing us games,’’ Hazelman said.
‘‘If you take out the first quarter, I think we won the battle for the last three quarters.’’
Hazelman singled out ruckman Chris Keys, who was playing his first match of the season, also making mention of youngsters Hayden Brown and Kris Bextream.
‘‘Chris Keys played well in the ruck for his first game of the season, he competed well and will improve going forward,’’ Hazelman said.
Brown and Bextream are two of six Hawks selected for the initial Murray Football League’s senior and under-18s interleague squads. They are joined by Riley Gow and Peter Francis in the under-18s while Zac Brain and Logan Morey are in contention for the senior side.
Barooga returns home this weekend to take on winless Moama and Hazelman intends on capturing his side’s end of the game and carrying it through to Saturday.
‘‘We have to carry our last three quarters into Moama, we need to try and stay positive even though the ladder doesn’t look too good at the moment,’’ he said.
Hazelman had his serious knee injury fears confirmed in the past week with the player-coach ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL and MCL tear as well as a small fracture in the joint.