Eagles to fly out west

David Braithwaite

MAFFRA will head west to play Drouin in a bid to extended its three-game winning run.

In second place on the Gippsland League football ladder, the Eagles will on Saturday face a Hawks side eager to claim a major scalp.

The Hawks moved into the top five last Saturday after winning at Morwell.

Before that win, the Hawks lost to Sale and Leongatha, raising questions about how they can match the competition’s top teams.

Drouin has players which, if left unchecked, could trouble the Eagles.

Eddie Morris has been in good form recently up forward, while Bailey Beck has kicked three goals in both his recent two matches.

Clayton Kingi has played well across half-back.

Veteran Bob McCallum will take on Eagle Kieran Jones in what will be a key contest in the ruck.

Maffra was tested by Moe last weekend, by found a way through the Lions’ press to win by 33 points.

James Huts was a strong presence in defence for the Eagles, while Tom Jolly, Alex Carr and captain Daniel Bedggood continued their good form.

Maffra has won its past four matches against Drouin.

LADDER leader Sale will host Wonthaggi, a team which hasn’t won at the Magpies’ nest since 2010.

The Power’s most recent memory of Sale Oval wasn’t a happy one, losing by 100 points.

The seventh-placed Power ended a run of three straight losses by defeating Bairnsdale at home on Saturday to remain a win outside the top five.

Troy Harley provided a strong target up forward, kicking four goals, while Tim Knowles has been playing well in defence.

Currently enjoying a run of four consecutive victories, Sale’s status as a premiership contender was boosted on Saturday, when it won at Leongatha for the first time in five years.

The Magpies are the only side to have scored more than 600 points in total this season. A big part of that has been Brad Dessent, who has kicked five goals in each of his past three matches to move to 21 for the season, four behind league leader Brayden McCarrey of Bairnsdale.

The Magpies’ midfield has also been a major factor, and will be a challenge for the Power to contend with.

THE match of the round will be at Ted Summerton Reserve, where Moe will take on Leongatha.

Both sides are level on points, with the Lions in third place ahead of the Parrots in fourth thanks to a better percentage.

If it is to win on Saturday, Moe will have to ignore recent history. The Parrots have won their past 17 matches against the Lions, a streak stretching back to 2010.

A hat-trick of losses has seen the Lions fall from top spot, and will play a Parrots side which missed the chance to return to the top three after losing at home to Sale.

WARRAGUL will make the long trek to Bairnsdale.

For the past four weeks, the Gulls have gone win-loss-win-loss. They returned to the bottom of the ladder last weekend after losing to Traralgon at home by 61 points.

Things may not get easier for the Gulls, as Bairnsdale has a good record at home.

All three of the Redlegs’ victories this season have come at Bairnsdale City Oval.

The Redlegs fell out of the top five after losing at Wonthaggi, but could be back in it if they win and Drouin loses to Maffra.

LATROBE Valley rivalries will reignite, when Traralgon hosts Morwell.

Both sides have been underwhelming this season, but the Maroons have been in better form.

The Maroons last weekend leapfrogged Warragul and Morwell off the bottom of the ladder. After losing their first four matches, the Maroons have won two of their past three, with the loss during that period only by three points.

The Tigers are in ninth place on the ladder, having lost their past three matches.