Magpies looking to maintain fortress

RELATED: Round two teams

SALE will be looking to extend its unbeaten run at home, when it hosts Leongatha during round two of Gippsland League football.

The Magpies have won their past 20 games at Sale Oval, their last defeat there coming against tomorrow’s opponent in round 15, 2011.

Magpies coach Matt Ferguson would have welcomed the solid performance against Traralgon last weekend as they were a little underdone during the pre-season.

The Parrots put in a disappointing effort at home against Bairnsdale and would have been thankful the Redlegs didn’t kick better for goal, booting nine majors from 29 shots.

The Redlegs appeared to be a class above the Parrots, who are still getting used to the style of new coach Glenn Garner.

In the last three meetings between the sides, the Magpies have won by margins of 67, 59 and 47 points.

The Magpies will enjoy the Easter break more if they can record back-to-back wins to open the season.

MAFFRA will travel east on Sunday to take on Bairnsdale.

Buoyed by their response to Moe’s first quarter challenge last Saturday night, the Eagles will be looking to capture that form against another round one winner.

The Eagles began slowly, falling 23 points behind midway through the first time, but only conceded four more goals, while kicking 19 of their own.

Once they get going, the Eagles are difficult to stop. Against the Lions, they moved the ball well and found targets in attack.

Also on Saturday night, Bairnsdale out-classed Leongatha.

Despite only winning by 31 points, the Redlegs had double the number of the Parrots’ scoring shots. If they can kick accurately for goal, to complement its form in the midfield, the Redlegs can push the top sides.

Three of the past four matches between the teams have been won by the visitor.

Recent history suggests that if the Eagles do get the upper hand on the Redlegs, they will have a comfortable victory.

Since Bairnsdale returned to this league in 2011, Maffra’s margin over victory in its four wins against the Redlegs have ranged from 46 to 61 points.

MORWELL should have little trouble at home against Drouin on Saturday.

The Tigers showed glimpses of their premiership winning form last Saturday to overcome Wonthaggi, turning an 11-point half-time lead into a 53-point victory.

Tigers coach Harmit Singh was pleased with the contributions of his five debutants, led by Ash Close, who kicked three goals in a best-on-ground performance.

The Hawks couldn’t go the distance against Warragul, conceding seven goals in the second half while only booting two of their own in a 40-point loss.

WONTHAGGI will be looking for its first home win against Traralgon sine 2004 on Saturday.

Traralgon has won all its four matches at Wonthaggi since the Power returned to the league in 2010.

The Maroons will be looking to avenge their elimination final loss to the Power.

Last weekend, both teams lost to last year’s grand finalists, but did impress in patches.

The Power only trailed by nine points at half-time, only to concede 11 goals to one in the second half.

The Maroons had a great chance to win at Sale, leading by three points at three-quarter-time.

However, the Magpies had the better of the final term, winning by 21.

Maroons coach Paul McCulloch said skills errors were the difference between the sides in the second half last week. This will be something the Maroons will need to rectify on Saturday.

WARRAGUL will head to Moe with both coming off encouraging performances.

Despite some key departures, Warragul scored an impressive win over Drouin. The Gulls overcame early inaccuracy, drawing away in the second half for a 40-point victory.

The new look Moe side was quick out of the blocks at Maffra, racing out to a four-goal first quarter lead only to be overrun by 63 points.

Coach Adrian Burgiel should take a positive from the fact the Lions had four more scoring shots than the Eagles during the final term.

The Gulls have won their past three matches against the Lions, although the first two of those were by less than a goal. In the previous meeting, the Gulls won by 101 points, their biggest over the Lions since 1997.