Key Demons’ fitness in focus

Sale City and Yarram will meet in a rematch of last year's NGFNL grand final.

Sale City and Yarram will meet in a rematch of last year's NGFNL grand final.

INJURIES to key players are a concern for Yarram ahead of the rematch of last year’s North Gippsland football grand final against Sale City.

The Demons didn’t have any available players on the bench during the weekend’s victory over Glengarry because of injuries to league best-and-fairest Griffin Underwood, Jarryd Swift and Shem Rendell. The Demons had already had to cope with the withdrawal of ruckman Daniel Vardy before the match.

While Swift will miss Saturday’s match because of a hamstring injury, a similar issue may not rule Underwood out of playing. The Demons were assessing the condition of Vardy and Rendell later this week.

It’s not all bad news on the injury front for Yarram, with Louis Rodaughan successfully returning to the line-up last weekend.

While it ended the match with an empty bench, the fact Yarram was able to still defeat Glengarry by 65 points is testament to its player depth.

Chris Bruns has strung together some strong performances in the midfield recently, while Trek Davis and Jack Moore have been superb in defence.

The Demons weren’t reliant on one or two players to kick goals, with their 15 majors spread across 10 players. It has been a similar pattern throughout the season, meaning the Bulldogs’ defenders will need to mark their opponent closely on Saturday.

The Demons will look to take some revenge for the defeat in the premiership decider.

The Bulldogs have been less consistent than in their previous two seasons, but have won their past two matches to be in fourth place, two victories behind the Demons.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs demolished Cowwarr at home by 122 points.

The Bulldogs didn’t look back after racing to a 45-point quarter-time lead.

Bohdi Walker kicked seven goals, taking his season tally to 16, while Stuart Buckley booted five and continues to lead the league with 21 this year.

Coach Jacob Schuback returned to the line-up to kick six goals in a best-on-ground performance. Schuback can be dangerous in the midfield or attack.

Chris Kelf could control the ruck contests if Vardy is unavailable for the Demons on Saturday.

Sale City was dominant against Cowwarr, but can it maintain that form against a formidable Yarram?

ENJOYING a run of three consecutive wins, Rosedale will host Traralgon-Tyers United.

The Blues’ good form has seen them move into fifth position on the ladder, but will meet a major challenge on Saturday in the second-placed Bombers.

The Blues kept their streak alive with a come from behind win at Heyfield.

Trailing by 15 points at three-quarter-time, the visitors kicked four goals to one during the final term to win by three points.

Such a win should give Rosedale further confidence.

As expected, the Bombers defeated Gormandale last weekend, but the 29-point margin was smaller than many people would have predicted.

The Bombers will need to play better tomorrow, as the Blues could punish any lacklustre effort.

Jack Brown and Adam Bailey, both Gippsland League premiership players with Morwell, have made solid contributions since joining TTU this season.

If the Blues can maintain pressure on the Bombers, they can win and consolidate a place in the top five.

HEYFIELD, in seventh place with two wins, will travel to Churchill.

While disappointed to let a three-quarter-time lead slip against Rosedale, the Kangaroos have improved considerably since the start of the season and have the players to at least push the Cougars.

The third-placed Cougars are coming off a strong performance at Woodside.

Pressure around the stoppages early set-up the 76-point victory.

Two wins outside the top five, the Kangaroos have a testing five weeks ago, with four matches against side above them on the ladder.

GORMANDALE will host Glengarry, with both sides on one win.

The ninth-placed Tigers weren’t disgraced against TTU at the weekend, but still fell five goals short at the final siren.The

Tigers will take some confidence from that match into Saturday’s contest.

The Magpies, in eight place, were out-played by Yarram, but will fancy their chances against the Tigers.

WOODSIDE could return to the top five with victory at Cowwarr.

The Wildcats have lost their past two matches, last weekend putting in a disappointing effort at home against third-placed Churchill.

Woodside would be expected to return to the winners’ list against the win-less Saints, who were humiliated at Stephenson Park by Sale City, losing by more than 20 goals.

Swans to take on Seagulls

STRATFORD will face another challenge against a tough Lakes Entrance team during round six of East Gippsland football.

The Swans had no trouble cleaning up struggling teams, but last weekend had their first loss of the season to Lucknow.

Lakes has also only lost one match so far, to Boisdale-Briagolong in round three, and is third on the ladder. A win could push the Seagulls to the top, depending on Lucknow’s chances.

Stratford’s usually high-powered forward line wasn’t firing as well on the weekend, with most of the battle going on in the midfield.

Key players like Lewis Bolton and Lachie Heywood, who were in the best-on-ground lists last week, will need to keep up the streak to shut down the Seagulls.

Boisdale-Briagolong make the long journey east to Orbost.

The Blues are win-less this season, and the Bombers seem to be adding more momentum to their season — a strong win here would certainly come in handy to boost percentage.

Wy Yung, another team to watch, will play Paynesville, and should have no trouble against the Gulls.

Lucknow hosts Lindenow, and given the Cats’ run of bad luck, it’ll be a hard game for them to win.

​- with Alex Ford

Gippsland Senior
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