MAFFRA will welcome Warragul to the Eagles’ nest for round 13 of Gippsland League football.
The Gulls have won their previous two matches against the Eagles, the first time since 1997 they’ve defeated Maffra in consecutive meetings. Both those wins came at Western Park.
In round four, the Gulls won by 16 points after beginning well with a five-goal to two first term.
It was also in 1997 the Gulls last won at Maffra. Since then they’ve lost on their 14 previous trips.
Last year at Maffra, the Gulls kicked only three goals in their 65-point loss.
Currently in seventh place on the ladder, six points outside the top five, Warragul can’t afford to make many wrong moves over the remaining six rounds if it’s to qualify for the finals.
If the Gulls can get past the Eagles on Saturday, they can set-up a big end to the season, with winnable matches against Sale, Wonthaggi and Drouin to come.
The Gulls arrested a four-game losing streak last weekend against Bairnsdale. It was an important win, with both sides heading into the contest on the same amount of points.
Warragul has reigning league best-and-fairest Brad Scalzo leading the midfield brigade, which will need to perform strongly on Saturday.
The Gulls have been missing full forward Brayden Fowler, who has missed their past two games.
The second-placed Eagles notched their fifth consecutive victory at the weekend, winning at Morwell by 48 points. Trailing by seven points at quarter-time, the Eagles responded well to the Tigers’ challenge.
Maffra had a good spread of goal kickers, with Daniel Bedggood booting five, Darren Sheen four and Mitch Bennett three to take his season tally to a league leading 38. With many attacking options, the Eagles are set to ask the Warragul defence many questions.
If they win and Leongatha loses to Traralgon, the Eagles could be on top of the ladder.
Tigers trek to Sale
MORWELL will be searching for its first win at Sale since 2010 on Saturday.
The Magpies, on the other hand, will be aiming to string together four quarters of good footy.
Both teams were in similar situations last weekend, leading at quarter-time before faded away. The Magpies lost at Traralgon by 53 points, the Tigers by 48 at home against Maffra.
For the Tigers, it was missed opportunity to consolidate their spot in the top five. They are now six points ahead of Wonthaggi and Warragul.
The last time the Tigers visited Sale, they kicked their fourth lowest score against the Magpies, 4.6 (30).
In round four, Morwell won by 36 points after holding the Magpies goal-less in the first half.
LADDER leader Leongatha will host third-placed Traralgon in the match of the round.
Only two points separate these teams on the ladder.
While the Maroons are coming off a strong victory over Sale, the Parrots escaped Moe with a one-point victory. The Parrots only took the lead for the first time late in the fourth term against the fourth-placed Lions.
The Maroons defeated Leongatha by 30 points in round four.
WONTHAGGI will head to Bairnsdale for a match vital to both teams’ finals aspirations.
The sixth-placed Power is four points ahead of the Redlegs, who are eighth. A loss tomorrow for either side, and a Morwell win at Sale, would be a major blow.
Wonthaggi returned to winning ways, defeating Drouin by 64 points, while a seven-point loss at Warragul was the Redlegs’ third consecutive defeat.
The Power has won its past six meetings against the Redlegs, and eight of its previous 10 matches at Bairnsdale City Oval.
FOURTH-placed Moe shouldn’t have too many problems accounting for Drouin.
The Lions lost to Leongatha by one point last weekend. The result could have been different if the match lasted two seconds longer, as the ball was heading into Moe’s forward line when the final siren went.
The Hawks have made small improvements in recent weeks, but will be outclassed by the visitors.