Terang Mortlake coach Michael Sargeant is unable to split the Hampden league's premiership contenders.
Sargeant's Bloods were beaten by one of those contenders in top-ranked North Warrnambool Eagles on Saturday, losing 13.15 (93) to 4.4 (28) at Terang.
The other two are second-placed Warrnambool and five-time reigning premier Koroit.
"It's hard to tell (who is the standout contender), you could throw a blanket over the top of all three," Sargeant said.
"I'd say they each play different ways. I wouldn't say there is a clear standout."
The Bloods have experienced first hand the power of the top three. They've lost to the Eagles twice (67 and 65 points), the Blues twice (101 and 87) and Koroit once (98).
Adam Dowie's Eagles showed Sargeant how their form is going, keeping the Bloods scoreless in the final term despite kicking with the wind.
"They're pretty well structured and I thought to really finish strong in heavy conditions in last quarter, when it got real wet, was good," he said.
"To their credit they didn't relax and they put the foot down which is a good sign for them to be to taking that attitude into finals."
Key big man Steve Staunton (work) and Lachie Wareham (back) were late withdrawals from the loss but are expected to return for next week's trip to Port Fairy.
The departing Bloods mentor said his young side, which sits eighth with a 2-10 record, was improving on the job.
"It's been a thing this year that we haven't been able to put in a four-quarter effort and that comes with experience and we've been playing lots of kids," he said.
"Hopefully they're learning and these kids continue to have an opportunity to learn as they go as that's a good thing for their and the side's development."
Dowie said his side had discovered its best form playing in the wet and heavy conditions.
"It wasn't the structure but the simple stuff we have been working on since early November we started to get right that was probably, as a coach, the most pleasing thing," he said.
The win proved critical in the race for the minor premiership - the Eagles hold the lead by just two points from Warrnambool.
"The games you have to win in this competition at the moment are against teams outside the five," he said.
"The sides in the five are beating sides outside it and the five have got to be winning those ones. Then when you play one of the teams in five we're a bit more unsure of what's going to happen and we go in hoping to win."
But the Eagles still know there is plenty of work to be done in the final six weeks of the season.
"The Hampden league, despite having some lop-sided results, is a tight competition and anyone can beat anyone on a given today," he said.
"Fortunately we haven't lost a game yet but there is no sign of complacency and we are mixing up our preparation and training to continue playing our best footy."
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