THE cracks are starting to show at Waubra.
The Roos, last year’s Central Highlands Football League premiers, were dismantled in devastating style by a well-oiled Hepburn machine on Saturday.
While it was just their first defeat of the season, there is worrying signs for coach Shane Skontra.
Personnel is a key issue for the reigning champs, which are without a host of premiership players from 2011.
Nine players from last year’s grand final side were absent on Saturday, and it appears another two are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines.
There are fears Nick Sullivan’s season is over, with the classy midfielder suffering a bad knee injury on the weekend, while Nick Lawrence will take time to recover from a ruptured liver he sustained against the Burras.
Waubra’s win-loss record of 5-1 is the same as it was at this time last season, but a modest percentage is perhaps a better indication of how it is travelling.
The Roos currently sit on 136.86 per cent, well below their 248.80 per cent after round six in 2011. Their points of 505 (2012) and 724 (2011) is the biggest discrepancy, while 369 (2012) and 291 (2011) points against show it has been penetrated a little more in defence.
All this is relevant considering the fixture is the same as last year’s.
Skontra concedes his side is below its best, but was still pleased to have recorded five wins.
“We certainly haven’t reassessed our goals. We understand we’re a little bit behind the pack at the moment, but we are going to show a bit of resilience and make sure we build our way into the season,” he said.
Skontra said there was a lot of spirit within the club, and the Roos would be aiming to play their best football at the business end of the season.
Six teams are separated by percentage at the top end of the ladder heading into the interleague break.
Hepburn has shot to the top following its win on the weekend, and heads Bungaree, Buninyong, Newlyn, Springbank and Waubra. Daylesford is next, followed by Creswick, which rounds out the top eight.