THERE is plenty to like about round 16 of North Gippsland football with three contests between top six sides, but none is bigger than the game between top two sides Heyfield and Traralgon-Tyers United.
Nine weeks ago after the Kangaroos handed TTU its first defeat of the season, the wheels began to wobble for the second-placed Bombers, who have been inconsistent at times.
Similarly, while the Kangaroos have come away with the points in many matches recently, their form hasn’t been as settled as coach Adrian Cox would be hoping for coming into the finals.
With bragging rights on the line on Saturday ahead of a possible second semi-final showdown, TTU coach Matt Stolarczyk will be hopeful the side will have the goods to build its confidence ahead of finals and topple the ladder leaders in a tight physical contest.
Test for Blues
ROSEDALE will have its premiership credentials tested when it hosts a Glengarry side coming off a blistering performance against Churchill.
Glengarry has won four of its past five matches, claiming a number of big scalps along the way as its firms a hold on a finals berth.
The Magpies moved into third position at the expense of Rosedale, who had a shock loss to Woodside.
The Blues will be eager to regain their position in the top three and secure the prized double chance during the finals.
The Blues will have tough contest against the competition’s third best defence.
Dropping their round seven contest by 47 points, which saw Josh King boot 10 majors, the Blues will need to get on top early and contain the Magpies’ forward line of Mark Engley and King, who booted 16 goals between them last Saturday.
The pressure will be on the Magpies to continue their seasondefining form, while for Rosedale, the prized scalp of a front runner will boost the confidence of a side which has lost its past two matches.
DESPITE defeating the Wildcats by nine goals earlier in the season, Cowwarr faces a danger game against Woodside.
Drawing in on snatching fifth position, the Saints fell away against Heyfield last week and will be wary of the Wildcats, who came from behind to defeat Rosedale.
Like the Saints, the Wildcats are trying to keep their chances of making the top five intact, and, with a tough run of matches to come against Glengarry and TTU, Saturday’s game is a must win. Cowwarr will have TTU and Gormandale in the final two weeks and will also be feeling the pressure to perform.
Bombers need respect
SITTING outside the top five by two points and with its hopes of returning to finals action slipping away, Churchill can’t afford to take Boisdale-Briagolong lightly.
The Bombers claimed the honours in their earlier contest against the Cougars.
Outplayed in the second half against Glengarry last weekend, the Cougars will need a strong four-quarter effort to ensure they stay in touch with the top five.
Boisdale-Briagolong has shown continued development and improvement, but has often struggled to string together four quarters with lapses seeing them drop matches to the competition’s front runners.
Outplayed in the final term last Saturday, the Bombers can take hope in the fact Churchill has struggled against the Bombers in past seasons.
Tail end battle
ALTHOUGH they sit in the tail end of the ladder, the match between Gormandale and Sale City will be sure to offer plenty.
The Tigers will be eager for redemption following the one that got away against the Bulldogs in round seven.
Coming into the contest on the back of a resurgent final term at Boisdale, the Tigers will be confident of their chances against the Bulldogs, who were convincingly beaten by second-placed TTU.
Enduring an indifferent season compared to the lofty heights of past years, Sale City coach Joel Brayshaw will need to refocus his charges and have them primed for a contest which will see one team claim a morale-boosting victory.