Four games to shape the five

David Braithwaite

FOUR matches will shape the North Gippsland football top five on Saturday.

With Yarram, Traralgon-Tyers United and Churchill safe in the top three, the race for the remaining two spots in the finals is down to four teams.

Three of those teams seeking to secure a finals berth will be playing top three sides, while Woodside faces a resurgent Cowwarr.

SALE City will host undefeated Yarram in the season’s second rematch of last year’s grand final.

There’s a lost stake for the Bulldogs if they’re to continue the quest for a hat-trick of premiership beyond round 18.

City will have had two weeks to get over its upset loss to Cowwarr. The loss has left the Bulldogs needing to win at least two of their last three matches to make the finals — it could all come down to the final round match against Rosedale.

Coach Jacob Schuback and Josh Barton have been the Bulldogs’ best players in recent weeks, but others will need to step up if they’re going to overcome the Demons.

The Demons have midfield depth, with Griffin Underwood, Louis Rodaughan, Jake Mcfarland and Chris Bruns in strong form, while Dan Vardy can play in the ruck or attack.

The Demons are set to welcome coach Matt Scholz back to the line-up.

Yarram last weekend continued its undefeated season with a 103-point victory over Glengarry.

In round seven, the Demons defeated the Bulldogs by 27 points after trailing by five points at half-time.

ROSEDALE will test its finals credentials against Traralgon-Tyers United.

The Blues moved into fourth place on the ladder, a game clear of Sale City and Woodside, following victory over Heyfield at the weekend.

The Blues boasted good attacking options, with goals spread across nine players. Joel Bristow stood out in defence, while Rohan Diamond and Dale Fleming led a strong effort in the midfield.

Victory on Saturday will help keep Rosedale ahead of the chasing Bulldogs and Wildcats.

The Blues will be challenged at Tyers by the second-placed Bombers, who are coming off a 70-point win over Gormandale.

The Bombers defeated the Blues by three goals in round seven.

WOODSIDE can return to the top five with victory at home against Cowwarr.

Back-to-back losses have pushed the Wildcats down to sixth place. An inferior percentage compared to Rosedale and Sale City means the Wildcats probably need big wins to end the season if they’re to make the finals.

Woodside will not underestimate the ninth-placed Saints, who have won their past two matches.

THE equation for Heyfield to keep its finals hope alive is simple — defeat Churchill at home.

Two wins and percentage outside the top five, the seventh-placed Kangaroos are an outside hope of making the finals. A loss to the third-placed Cougars will extinguish those hopes.

The Kangaroos were understrength in their 64-point loss to Rosedale, with Churchill set to provide a tougher challenge.

The Cougars have won their past five matches, defeating finals aspirant Woodside by 56 points in their previous outing.

The Cougars defeated Heyfield by 23 points earlier this season. The Kangaroos only kicked two goals to half-time, but matched their opponent in the second half.

GLENGARRY and Gormandale have the chance to record a rare win before the season ends.

Both sides are coming off big losses, but should have some confidence heading into Saturday’s match.

One of the Tigers’ three wins for the season came against Glengarry, which has only tasted victory once.