Maroons host Maffra

GIPPSLAND League football leader Maffra will travel to Traralgon to meet a resurgent Maroons side on Saturday.

After a hat-trick of losses, Traralgon has won its past two matches to return to the top five.

Last weekend, the Maroons defeated fourth-placed Moe by 39 points, helped by six unanswered goals in the final term.

Maffra disposed of Warragul by 99 points at home. The Gulls tried to slow the Eagles down early, but the home side found a way through the press to continue its undefeated start to the season.

The Eagles didn’t rely on one player in attack, with four players kicking at least five goals. This spread of goal kickers could test the Maroons’ defence, led by Adam Jaensch and Bailey Cameron.

Tim Northe, Mark Collison and Connor Ambler will be a formidable combination for Traralgon in the midfield.

The teams met four times last year, for two wins each.

The Maroons won the qualifying final by 18 points, before the Eagles gained revenge in the preliminary final, winning by 25.

SALE takes its six-game winning streak to Warragul.

The second-placed Magpies are coming off a 32-point victory over Bairnsdale.

After big back-to-back losses to Leongatha and Maffra by 103 and 119 points respectively, Warragul are looking to rebound on home turf in round eight and Magpies coach Shane Fyfe expected a spirited Gulls outfit to front on Saturday.

Despite the Gulls’ poor form, Fyfe wasn’t taking victory for granted.

“We’re fully aware that the competition is so even, so on their day, Warragul can beat anybody,” he said.

“Obviously Warragul haven’t got the results they wanted against Leongatha and Maffra, but those two sides are the benchmark of the competition and I expect them on their home ground to really put on a show.”

Warragul full-forward Brayden Fowler missed the first part of the season, but showed positive in recent weeks, kicking three goals against Maffra.

Skipper Tom Muir is also back in fine form and will be a key cog for the Gulls this weekend, as will midfielder Nathaniel Paredes.

Kane Martin is a possible inclusion for Sale, returning from a knee strain.

Fyfe said the next six weeks was a “really good block” for the Magpies and would test their mettle heading into the pointy end of the season.

“We’ve got Warragul, then Maffra, Moe and Traralgon … so it’s great to be six and one, but we know the next five are going to be tough,” he said.

“We’re happy with the way things are going but the competition is so even and it can soon change.”

LEONGATHA will host Bairnsdale, which has slipped out of the top five following back-to-back losses.

The Parrots approach Saturdaytomorrow’s match, having won their past three matches. Last weekend, they needed a strong final term to overcome Drouin by 35 points.

Eight goals moved Chris Dunne to a share of the lead in the league goal kicking with Maffra’s Mitch Bennett.

Against Sale, the Redlegs had to play catch-up after the Magpies’ strong second term.

MOE will welcome Wonthaggi to Ted Summerton Reserve.

The fourth-placed Lions have lost two of their past three matches. The Lions had a chance to defeat Traralgon last weekend, but couldn’t keep up with the Maroons’ strong finish.

The Power is on the bottom of the ladder after its loss at home to Morwell.

DROUIN will host Morwell, with both sides on one win from seven matches.

The Tigers will be buoyed after breaking their season duck at Wonthaggi, but will meet a Hawks side which tested Leongatha.