Merrivale’s draw has come to the rescue of key forward and senior coach Jason Rowan.
Rowan, who was subbed out at quarter time of Saturday’s loss to Dennington with a badly sprained left knee he injured rapidly changing direction late in the first quarter, said he was hoping to recover in time for the Tigers’ match against South Rovers on June 9.
Merrivale now has three weeks off thanks to a league-wide bye for the Country Championships this weekend, followed by a scheduled bye the week after, before the Tigers receive a week off thanks to playing their match against Old Collegians on Good Friday.
Rowan said the three weeks would give him the time to fully recover from the injury and return to the Tigers team having not missed a game of football.
The former Warrnambool star has had previous troubles with the same left knee, rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in a Blues practice match in 2015.
The Tigers coach said on Saturday that the three-week bye gave his side the opportunity to freshen up and work on key areas of their game.