Pies keen for another fast start at Drouin

Kate Withers with David Braithwaite

BEGINNING games well has been front and centre for Sale all season, and if its round 13 treatment of Morwell is anything to go by, then Drouin should be worried on Saturday.

Third on the Gippsland League football ladder, the Magpies had the game won by quarter-time last Saturday.

“We sort of put a big emphasis on our start and in the warm up, especially after the break, sometimes teams can come out lacklustre but we said ‘let’s not have that happen to us’,” coach Shane Fyfe said.

While the Magpies are favoured to win tomorrow, Fyfe was unwilling to discount the Hawks.

“I was having a look at (Drouin’s) results and they’ve been in the game a lot, but just haven’t got the wins on the board,” he said.

Fyfe also flagged a chance to perfect playing away from home this weekend as key ahead of the finals.

“Again, it’s always harder down there in Drouin,” he said.

“Something we want to do is play well away from home because that’s where the finals are going to be, so we need to win on the road.

The Magpies were relentless in the earlier round five clash with Drouin and dished out a 94-point drubbing.

“They have probably developed over the year, so we’ll need to be on our game,” Fyfe said.

A MISMATCH is brewing between eighth-placed Morwell and ladder leader Maffra.

The Eagles, however, only lead Leongatha on percentage after losing to the Parrots at home a fortnight ago.

The Eagles got to within two points during the final term, but the Parrots held firm in the wintry conditions to kick a goal and maintain their lead for the final 10 minutes and win by nine points.

Following a week off, the Eagles will keen to atone on Saturday and regain form.

The Tigers were out of the game against Sale by quarter-time on Saturday, unable to claw back a 39-point deficit.

If round five’s result is anything to go by, then Morwell will be up against it this weekend. Maffra stacked on 14 goals to the Tigers’ three to run out a 76-point victor.

Four wins outside the top five, Tigers must win their five remaining matches to have a chance of making the finals.

TRARALGON will host Warragul in a vital clash, with both sides on seven wins each.

The Maroons have the edge in fifth spot with 18 percentage points propping them up after Saturday’s 39-point win over Wonthaggi.

Coach Mark Collison was pleased with the Maroons’ return to “our best football” after two weeks of “pretty disappointing” play before the split round. However, Collison admitted his side would have to be on its toes ahead of the match with the Gulls and flagged round five’s loss as a motivator.

“We need to make sure that we bring our best footy and that we can get the job done,” Collison said.

“We’ll prepare ourselves and head in with the same application we normally do and there’s no reason we can’t win.”

Collison said the current make-up of the side was “pretty good”.

“It’s a winning side and we don’t want to toy with it too much,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep winning, keep performing, keep playing our best footy and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.”

THE game between Leongatha and Moe is shaping as the match of the round, as both sides look to consolidate their spots in the top five ahead of the finals.

Leongatha, in second spot behind ladder leader Maffra on percentage, has in recent weeks hit the form that led it to the 2017 flag.

The Parrots have won their past five matches, having secured the scalps of Traralgon and Maffra before the week off.

When they last met the Lions, the Parrots were too strong, winning by 31 points.

A 26-point win at Bairnsdale consolidated the Lions’ hold on third place, four points ahead of Traralgon and Warragul.

WONTHAGGI will be out for redemption when it hosts Bairnsdale.

The Redlegs were indomitable on home turf in round five and restricted the Power to just four goals on their way to a 71-point victory.

With a finals berth slipping from both teams’ grasp, premiership points tomorrow will go a long way to restoring some faith in both camps for the run home.