Maroons and Power to battle for third




TRARALGON is looking to make it five consecutive Gippsland League victories when it hosts Wonthaggi in the battle for the all-important third spot.

A win would push the Maroons a game clear of the Power in third, but a loss would leave them on equal points with Wonthaggi and heavily reliant on percentage.

“It’s a massive game for us,” Wonthaggi coach Rob Railton said.

“Third spot is up for grabs depending on percentage and we want that second chance.”

Chasing its third straight win, the focus at the Power is on consistency.

“You would have to say (Traralgon) is in slightly better form, but we feel we can recapture some of the consistency and get us a double chance,” Railton said.

“That’s our goal, if not we have to try to make the finals.”

The teams drew when they last met at Traralgon, which was no surprise given the Maroons and the Power have drawn a remarkable three times in just 39 encounters; the average is one in 100.

Drouin v Morwell

DROUIN bounced back from consecutive losses last week to record one of its most important wins of 2015.

The victory against Moe earned the Hawks a spot in the top five, but Drouin must now beat Morwell to stay there.

“If we win obviously it will give us confidence going into Wonthaggi away knowing we beat them,” Hawks coach Bob McCallum said.

“We will need a full strength side and one that is at its best to beat them.”

A Hawks win is likely to end the two-time reigning premier’s chances of a consecutive finals campaign.

Whoever wins, Drouin and Morwell will also continue to battle with Sale for a spot in the top five.

“We have got our eyes on Sale; they are going to be our main contenders,” McCallum said.

“Sale has got an easier run home, ours is tougher. We have earmarked the games we think we can win to put us in the finals and we will just concentrate on what we are doing.”

Sale v Bairnsdale

SITTING in sixth on the ladder and coming off its second loss this year to Leongatha, Sale’s clash with Bairnsdale is a must win for the Magpies.

The Redlegs have not beaten Sale at Sale since 1994, or in eight encounters, taking into account the visitor’s time in the East Gippsland Football League.

The sides have met nine times since Bairnsdale rejoined the competition, Sale has won eight of those matches, with Bairnsdale’s sole victory at home last year.