Woodside (ladder: first, 7 wins, 0 losses) Grade: A

THE Wildcats stand top of the North Gippsland senior football ladder and undefeated after eight rounds.

Woodside looks in premiership form with their last three winning margins totalling 382 points with wins against Rosedale, Glengarry, and Churchill.

Round 1 saw Woodside avenge their Grand Final woes with a win over Traralgon Tyers United, as well as tough wins against Sale City and Yallourn Yallourn North in quick succession.

How it currently stands, they’ll be back in the big dance quite soon.


TTU – A (second, 6 wins, 1 loss)

THE pinnacle of North Gippsland still most likely remains in TTU, where following their Round 1 loss to Woodside in the Grand Final rematch, the Bombers have shot off six straight wins to still be in clear contention for the minor premiership.

Their substantial wins across this period include two come-from-behind victories against Yarram and Heyfield after halftime. The reigning premier has been gifted two weeks rest and will be well prepared for games after the bye including Sale City, YYN, and Woodside in the next four weeks as they hunt back-to-back flags.


Yarram – A (third, 6 wins, 1 loss)

MINUS a bad loss to TTU in Round 5 in which they led by two goals at halftime before only managing six behinds in the second half, the Demons have been a nice surprise for the competition, sitting third on the ladder heading into the break after missing the finals entirely last season.

Yarram haven’t recruited heavily but have seen steady improvement as a unit and growth from its younger-ended talent that has made them a difficult side to slow down once they get going. They’ll face one of their biggest tasks immediately with a matchup away at Woodside.


YYN – B (fourth, 5 wins, 2 losses)

THE premier of 2022 has almost rebounded from their disappointing bow out in last year’s elimination final shoot out against Churchill, with the introduction of a new head coach and ample artillery brought in during the preseason.

The Jets sit with a win-loss of 5-2, with defeats to Woodside and Yarram seeing them placed clear fourth.

They’ve likely already proven they are above the rest of the sides sitting from fifth to eighth, but if YYN hope to re-emerge holding that premiership cup, they’ll have to see more consistency from start to finish in-game returning in the backend of the season.


Heyfield – C (fifth, 4 wins, 3 losses)

DESPITE sitting fifth, the preliminary finalists of yesteryear haven’t seemed to have matched the success hey garnered in 2023.

The Kangaroos, for the most part, had handled business against the lesser opponents of the competition, but a startling loss to Sale City last round has many of us wondering where Heyfield stands at this point.

They’ll have a big task on their hands when they come up against YYN away straight out of the gate as they hope to simply hold spot by season’s end.


Sale City – B (sixth, 4 wins, 3 losses)

REGARDLESS of the fact they still sit outside of finals as it currently stands, the Bulldogs have been another one of the surprises of 2024.

Competing in almost every game this year, the revamped Sale City side has shown the capability to stick with the best of the league with a seven-point loss to Woodside in Round 2 and dismantling Heyfield in a crucial win for their season last round.

The Bulldogs will have even more games against top sides to prove themselves further with TTU, YYN, and Woodside all in the next four weeks of play.


Rosedale – C (seventh, 3 wins, 4 losses)

THE Blues remain the middle man of the competition. They’ll be up one week (most likely against a side around their mark or lower than them) and then obliterated the next.

As it stands, they sit alone in seventh with three wins and four losses, which makes it difficult to decipher if they will climb amid some massive wins in the next few weeks (preferably against Yarram and Heyfield) or if they eventually drop behind the likes of Churchill.

Most likely they stay put in no man’s land.


Churchill – C (eighth, 2 wins, 5 losses)

IT’S hard to know what’s going on down at Churchill.

Stalwarts of finals play for the last two decades, the Cougars of 2024 have only managed two wins so far this year – and they haven’t been close in a bulk of their other games.

It can be chopped up to injuries desolating their seniors and reserves, but unless they can rally a few troops back into position it’ll be difficult to see the Cougars play finals this year.


Cowwarr – D (ninth, 1 win, 6 losses)

THERE was fair anticipation for what Cowwarr would dish out this year, with heavy recruitment in between seasons that had people questioning if they could be in arms distance for a finals birth given the circumstances.

So far, the Saints have compiled a grand total of one win, coming in the form of a narrow victory over Glengarry.

They’ll be up for a half but then something changes within the group.

A second win will most likely come playing against Gormandale in the week following the break, but it would be good to see them push a higher side for more than two quarters.


Glengarry – F (10th, 1 win, 7 losses)

IT would be difficult to recover when you replace coaches just months before the season, but that can’t fully explain the depths the Magpies have fallen. They haven’t been travelling well for a few years, but this season, have already lost four games by 100 points (two by 200). Glengarry will be saved by the bye while everyone else comes back.


Gormandale – F (11th, 0 wins, 7 losses)

WITH a percentage of 9.89, Gormandale are once again acting as an extra week off for clubs.

They made some waves with the recruitment of some younger talent during the preseason, but not much has changed regarding competitiveness.

The Tigers haven’t won a game since beating Cowwarr in April 2022 and it’s almost inevitable that they’ll go two years in a row winless.

That their closest game was still an 85-point pummelling by 10th-placed Glengarry, Gormandale could be in for more pain in the second half of the year.