Roos to host the Dogs

Scott Berechree

TWO of North Gippsland football’s undefeated sides will on Saturday meet in what looms as match of the round, when Sale City makes the trip to Heyfield.

The Bulldogs were tipped by many to perhaps take a step back under new coach Shane Fyfe before making gains over the next few seasons, but they have hit the ground running straight away.

Heyfield, though, seemingly has the stronger form heading into tomorrow’s match. The Kangaroos have almost certainly taken on better credentialed sides than the Bulldogs have encountered thus far.

As good as Heyfield may have been, second (or third technically) year coach Rick Galea has several of the returning Roos cleared back to the club in the off-season yet to take the park.

With a dry weekend predicted, this game has the potential to be fast-paced and high-scoring, which should suit Heyfield.

With young gun Liam Heasley running through the middle and hitting the scoreboard, the Bulldogs will need a big return from the likes of Bohdi Walker and Justin McLay if they are going to score heavily enough to return home with the four points.

HEADING up the ladder is early season surprise packet Woodside, which will have its credentials better tested on Saturday by Traralgon-Tyers United.

With 2019 TTU coach Michael Duncan taking over the helm at Woodside, the Wildcats have taken all before them so far this season. Not only have they racked up a pair of wins, they’ve done so by kicking scores of 119 and 126 in their opening games, with Kim Kantilla and Duncan himself having kicked bags of five and six goals respectively.

It may well be the spread of goal kickers though that has new TTU coach Jamie Aitken the most anxious.

Putting the stops on one key forward might be achievable, but the Wildcats have had seven and nine players on the scoresheet over the opening rounds. That is a much bigger problem to solve.

TTU, after opening its season with a hard fought win over Rosedale, went down in an equally close game against Heyfield.

Coming in from the Gippsland League, Kieran Jones has impressed in his opening two outings for the Bombers. He, along with fellow major league recruit Jack Brown, will be central in determining if the visitors return with the four points or if the undefeated Wildcats, who boast a percentage of over 400, keep enjoying the view from the top of the ladder.

FOR Rosedale, season 2021 has been a case of close but no cigar, having registered a draw and a seven-point loss to begin its campaign – although, both of those results were against arguably stronger opposition than what awaits it tomorrow in Gormandale.

With Brandon McDonald kicking a bag in last week’s draw with Sale City and Gormandale still a little rusty having only had the one match followed by the bye, it’s hard to see anything other than a Rosedale win.

ANOTHER side yet to fully hit its strike, Yarram will host Cowwarr.

There were promising signs in the second half of the Demons’ win over Glengarry. After leading by only a goal or so at the main break, the Demons managed 20 scoring shots in the second half to chalk up win number one for the season.

In stark contrast, Cowwarr managed just a single point after half-time against Woodside, while conceding a whopping 13.5. On that form, it appears little chance of replicating 2019’s upset result which saw the Saints go marching in to Yarram hoping for a win and marching out with the four premiership points.

COMING off an outstanding first up performance against Yallourn-Yallourn North, Churchill will welcome Glengarry to Gaskin Park.

The Cougars will finally unfurl their 2019 premiership flag, which must seem like a lifetime ago now.

With its crop of four first-gamers mixing in seamlessly with the rest of the playing group against YYN, Churchill will be full of confidence as it takes on a Magpie unit yet to hit its straps.

Adding some extra interest to this clash will be the off-season inclusion of Michael Diaz and Chris Wangman to the home side’s line-up. The former Glengarry players both featured among the reigning premiers’ best in their season opener and will be keen to back up that performance against their old club.

YALLOURN-YALLOURN North will have the bye.