Eagles aim to tame Tigers

MORWELL will be the latest team to challenge Maffra’s undefeated status.

It will be a big task for the Tigers, who are sitting on the bottom of the Gippsland League football ladder without a win this season.

Apart from a 16-point loss at Bairnsdale, the Tigers haven’t come close to breaking their duck.

Last weekend, Morwell lost to Sale at home by 33 points, but was helped by the Magpies’ at times errant kicking for goal and inefficient use of the ball in attack.

The Tigers did apply pressure on the Magpies, but were unable to maintain that effort over four quarters.

Onballers Ryan Tatterson and Zach Anderson, forward Dan Musil and full back Ryan Hearn have been among the Tigers’ best players across the opening month of the season, but they will need others to step up, particularly against Maffra.

The Eagles put in a dominant performance at Leongatha, defeating last year’s premier by 42 points.

The Parrots were restricted to just six goals, a number matched by Eagle Mitch Bennett. Alex Carr was also a strong presence in attack for the Eagles.

The Maffra midfield continued its good form, led by Danny Butcher and Ed Carr, and could again be integral is setting-up victory.

AN in-form Sale will host Drouin.

The Magpies have won their past three matches to sit in third place on the ladder, but will meet a Hawks side buoyed following their first win since September 4, 2016.

On Sunday, Drouin defeated Warragul, the same opponent its previous win came against in the 2016 elimination final, by one point. The Hawks almost let slit a 22-point lead from three-quarter-time.

Jeb McLeod and Ed Morris have been strong for the Hawks in the midfield, and will look to gain possession of the ball ahead of Kane Martin, Brad McKay and Jordan Dessent.

Sale kept Morwell to just six goals in its 33-point away victory. The Sale defence was hard to penetrate, with Mitch Thacker showing composure, and Ollie Collins and Shane Fyfe punishing loose Morwell possessions.

Better kicking for goal would have given the Magpies a bigger victory, which would have reflected the run of play.

Having rebounded from their opening round loss to Maffra, the Magpies’ strong start to the season could serve them well in the chase for finals berths.

Ruckman Jack Lipman recorded more than 50 hit-outs for the Magpies at the weekend, and will take on Drouin counterpart Bob McCallum in what could be a quality individual contest.

BAIRNSDALE returns home to meet Wonthaggi.

At Moe last weekend, Bairnsdale began well to led at quarter-time, but allowed the Lions to kick six unanswered goals in the second term, from which Redlegs were unable to recover.

Wonthaggi will be on a high after upsetting Traralgon by 10 points at home for its first win of the season. The Power will be looking for some consistency, having lost to Maffra by 136 on its last visit to east Gippsland a fortnight ago.

The Power will need to be wary of the Redlegs’ forward structure, with Brayden McCarrey, Josh Kiss and Russell Cowan botting 29 goals between them this season.

LEONGATHA will travel to Moe.

The Parrots have lost to premiership contenders Traralgon and Maffra over the past three weeks, and will be tested by an improved Lions side on Saturday.

The second-placed Lions last weekend overcame a slow start to defeat Bairnsdale at home by 37 points. Trailing by 16 at quarter-time, the Lions can’t afford to give the Parrots such a break.

The sides appear evenly-matched this season, with Moe having the edge in attack. The Parrots managed only six goals against Maffra at the weekend.

WARRAGUL will host Traralgon, with both teams coming off upset losses.

Both sides have lost their past two matches.

The sixth-placed Gulls went down to Drouin by one point on Sunday, and will be keen to atone for a disappointing performance.

The Maroons are in the seventh following their loss at Wonthaggi, and will need to rediscover the form which saw them defeat Leongatha.