Coleambally and Marrar are bearing finals in mind, erring on the side of caution with injuries.
The Bombers have left out Cal Gardner (shoulder) and Jake Hindmarsh (cork) for their game against North Wagga while the Blues won’t risk the experienced Chris Cerato (ankle) and Nathan Jones (calf) against the Northern Jets.
Coleambally coach Josh Hamilton said they pulled up sore after Thursday’s training.
“I’d rather not risk them now and have them down the track for finals,” Hamilton said.
Showing their depth, the Blues’ losses are offset by a trio of inclusions with Brandon Mathews, Mitch Carroll and Wes Kiley all back for their first games in a month.
Coleambally head to Ardlethan chasing an 11th straight win but will meet the three other top-four sides before finals.
“It’s great to have won 10 in a row, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve got a lot of footy in front of us and we’ve got some hard games coming up,” Hamilton said.
“They (the Jets) were tough last time and from what I’ve heard they’ve improved a lot.
“I reckon they play similar to us, they go in hard at the ball, they’re physical – it’s going to be a good contest.”
The Jets also showed their class in the midfield against East Wagga-Kooringal last week and are desperate to grab a top-three scalp.
Hamilton said the Blues can’t afford to play only two good quarters as they did in round six, when they got home courtesy of a five-goals-to-none first quarter.
“We were up and down like a yo-yo, each quarter we were either up or down – we didn't string much consistent footy together,” he said.
Consistency is also the concern for Marrar who are chasing back-to-back wins for just the third time this season when they meet North Wagga on a McPherson Oval surface certain to be a mud bath.
The Bombers are virtually assured a top five spot after falling over the line against Temora last week.
It means they can afford not to risk Gardner and Hindmarsh but coach Matt Molkentin wants to see them seal their spot with a performance that shows they deserve it.
“We haven’t been playing great footy since the halfway point,” he said.
“We definitely want to be hitting our straps coming into the first elimination final, if we make it – there’s still a chance that we won’t.
“We’ve just got to hold our structures and react to the game, I suppose. When they come, we panic a bit and lose our way a little bit.”