Blues, Roos set for classic contest

ROSEDALE and Heyfield will tomorrow square off in the North Gippsland football second semi-final at Glengarry with the winner advancing to the grand final.

There could be mixed emotions for Rosedale coach Damien Birss, who is a four-time premiership player with Heyfield.

Kangaroos president John Tyquin said while he was a huge part of the club, come tomorrow Birss would not be “a Heyfield person”.

“He becomes the enemy until after the contest,” Tyquin said.

The Blues have been at the forefront of the competition all season, finishing one game clear of nearest rival Sale City, with Heyfield a further game behind.

In round 10, the Blues ended Heyfield’s five-game winning streak with a blistering 80-point victory. While there was plenty of hype and hope surrounding that contest, it failed to live up to all expectations with Rosedale on song from the opening bounce.

Having also won their round one clash by 20 goals, the Blues have had the wood over the Kangaroos this year.

Tyquin wasn’t worried by past results, but was confident the young side had further matured throughout the season.

“The young guys have grown and matured as the year has gone on, with such a very young group you don’t know what you are going to get each week,” he said.

“We played Rosedale on both occasions relatively early on in the season, some nine weeks have passed and the side have further developed.”

Speaking on behalf of coach Adrian Cox, the man at the helm of the club was realistic of the enormity of the challenge.

FOR the first time in three seasons, two-time reigning premier Sale City finds itself having to navigate a different path if it’s to claim the premiership again.

Before they can look too far ahead, the Bulldogs will this Sunday need to halt Cowwarr, who has won its past seven games, including a five-point thriller in the elimination final against Glengarry.

The Saints have won nine of their past 10 matches, having accounted for fellow finalists Rosedale, Heyfield and Sale City during the second half of the season.

Saints Coach Cory Bannister would be fully aware past results would mean little ahead of the first semi-final at Churchill.

His opposite number at the Bulldogs, Nick Hider, was disappointed with his side’s qualifying final loss to Heyfield.

“We were beaten in a fair few areas of the game, that we pride ourselves on,” he said.

“We couldn’t hold on in the last quarter when they got a run on, the game was on the line and they wanted it more which was disappointing.

“It is going to be tough from here, we have to get over Cowwarr. We cant look too far ahead just taking it one week at a time.”

Hider said his side needed to get back to basics on the training track this week if it was to counteract the Saints.

“We have to improve in several areas. Our attack on the contested footy is one of those areas, when the ball is in dispute we need to get our hands dirty and get in there,” he said.

“It’s really the fundamentals that we need to improve in – back to basics, our run and carry of the ball. We need to use our skills, stick our tackles and get our hands on the footy first.

“Our genuine ball winners are not in form, they haven’t been for weeks. As a club we need to stand up when our backs are against the wall.”

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.

NGFNL finals draw:

Second semi-finals, Saturday at Glengarry:

Football, seniors: Rosedale v Heyfield, 2.15pm; reserves: Heyfield v Sale City, noon; thirds: Sale City v TTU, 9.45am.

Netball, A grade: Rosedale v Churchill, 2.15pm; B grade: Rosedale v TTU, 1pm; C grade: Gormandale v Woodside, 11.45am; D grade: Glengarry v Rosedale, 10.30am; under 17s: TTU v Glengarry, 9.30am.

First semi-finals, Sunday at Churchill:

Football, seniors: Sale City v Cowwarr, 2.15pm; reserves: Rosedale v Churchill, noon; thirds: Woodside v Churchill, 9.45am.

Netball, A grade: TTU V Glengarry, 2.15pm; B grade: Gormandale v Glengarry, 1pm; C grade: Sale City v Rosedale, 11.45am; D grade: TTU v Gormandale, 10.30am; under 17s: Heyfield v Sale City, 9.30am.