Pies look to seize Power

SALE will meet Wonthaggi, who would make a giant step towards making the Gippsland League football finals with victory.

Following their win at Drouin and Leongatha’s loss to Morwell, the Magpies are now a win clear of the Parrots on top of the ladder. With six rounds remaining, the Magpies are in prime position to claim the minor premiership and a week off to begin the finals series.

The Magpies were able to shake off the Hawks, who are always difficult to beat at home, with the form of younger players Josh Dunkley and Josh Kennedy a major positive.

The equation for the Power is simple, keep winning and it will make the finals. A 62-point victory against Moe helped the Power in what’s shaping up as a battle against Traralgon for fifth position.

The Power put in a consistent effort over the four quarters against the Lions, it will need to do that again tomorrow to have a chance of victory.

Wonthaggi may look to Aaron Ware, who kicked five goals against Moe, to continue that form.

In round four, Sale won a tough encounter by 14 points.

Wonthaggi has won 11 of its past 13 matches at Sale.

A PSYCHOLOGICAL advantage ahead of the finals will be the aim as Maffra travels to Leongatha for its 100th meeting with the Parrots.

With these clubs occupying two of the top three places on the ladder, it is likely there will be at least one meeting between these teams come finals time.

The Eagles were made to work for two quarters at home against Warragul last weekend, but dominated the second and third terms, kicking a total of 18 goals to two on their way to a 95-point win.

For periods, the Eagles were out-played in the midfield, allowing the Gulls to string together consecutive goals. They can’t afford to do that against Leongatha.

The start could be a key to tomorrow’s match, with the Eagles conceding early goals, forcing them to lift their workrate just to get back on even terms by the first break.

The forward line has come into some form, with Adrian Burgiel, Daniel Bedggood, and in between spells in the ruck, Brent Connelly recorded solid goal numbers. The Parrots’ defence, led by coach Will Thursfield, who came back into the side last weekend after several weeks out with injury, will need to find a way to counteract the Eagles’ attack.

With key players missing, the Parrots have been off-song in recent weeks. They were made to work for victory against Traralgon before losing at Morwell last weekend.

The Eagles hold a 51-49 advantage since the clubs first met in 1969. The Parrots’ round four victory at Maffra was their first victory over the Eagles since 2003.

IN other matches tomorrow, Traralgon will travel to Latrobe Valley rival Moe and Morwell’s bid to claim third place takes it to Bairnsdale. Warragul will host local rival Drouin on Sunday.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.