South Rovers coach Adam Matheson hopes to bring back a long list of senior players in coming weeks, but the Lions are battling several injury concerns despite its rock-solid start to the season.
The fourth-placed Lions banked a strong 17.12 (114) to 3.11 (29) win against Timboon Demons on Saturday, but lost Tim Rooke in the opening two minutes to a calf injury and Luke Payne with a hamstring in the second.
It comes off the back of recruit Craig Britten breaking his leg against Dennington a few weeks ago.
"We're probably still waiting on seven or eight senior players to become available, and that's due to injuries, COVID and some weddings," he said.
"We're a bit off but it's not unusual, a lot of other teams aren't near full strength, there's no excuses. We'll start to get a few back in the next few weeks."
Matheson told The Standard the fast start, which saw the Lions break open the game with an eight-goal to one opening term was the catalyst for the win.
"We kicked with the breeze and it was tight early, but we got a run on late in the first quarter," he said.
"That gave us a buffer and after that it was a wrestle, it probably wasn't pretty to watch."
With injuries depleting the side, Matheson said several youngsters had filled the void.
"Young Jaxen Dalton and Jack Dowd have played in the ruck so far this year and competed really well," he said.
"It was probably Jack Bacon's best game for the club, he played in numerous positions and some of our mature players, Aaron Seabrook and Trent Harman were crucial with their ball use in a messy game."
The Demons were gallant in club great and co-coach Marcus 'Barney' Hickey's 200th senior match, fighting hard after quarter time and showing more promising signs.
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