TRARALGON’S depth of talent has kept its head above water and will be crucial in this week’s match against Drouin, in a replay of last year’s grand final in Gippsland League football.
Drouin is not the threat it was last season, and the reigning premiers have been hit hard with injuries.
The Maroons’ percentage has suffered in matches against teams placed above them on the ladder, and they must keep building their percentage as well as getting premiership points each week.
Despite the injuries, after six rounds Traralgon has managed to stay in the top five.
Tom McQualter played well in Traralgon’s reserves last round and this week the Maroons will look to him to bolster their midfield.
Dan McKenna missed the interleague to recover from injury and will be hard to stop kicking a bag of goals.
Pat McGrath has shouldered a lot of Drouin’s work in the midfield, and will need a lot more support especially against Josh Jennings and Jackson Hall.
Wonthaggi v Morwell
Fresh after a fantastic win over Sale, Morwell will travel to Wonthaggi which has seen many good teams come undone.
John Read could come into the side but Jason Stevens will miss again due to work commitments.
Lee Warnett, Chris Wylie and Lucas White have been in fine form for the Power but Morwell’s pace will be a worry for them.
Morwell’s biggest problem has been a lack of consistency and to be a genuine finals hope, the team must play well every week.
Both sides need to keep winning in what has been a season of surprises.
Moe v Warragul
Moe is home to Warragul and the young Gulls can sniff a finals spot, while the Lions have only one victory this season against old rivals Morwell
Ryan Donaldson was sidelined against Maffra with a back injury and may be able to take his place this week.
Stuart Robertson, Declan Keilty and Jarrod Thornton will press for selection, and Sean Spiteri’s recent performance in the reserves has been strong.
Moe’s rebuilding program is on track and the team is showing Jason Macfarlane what they are capable of.
Matt Gray, Mark Bradley, Ben Hughes and Clinton Rowe and a lot of talented youngsters have been leading Warragul’s improvement.
Warragul has not won at Ted Summerton in five years and while Moe is still a work in progress, the Lions may not win this in what should be a tight contest.
Sale v Maffra
The second biggest game on the Gippsland League’s calendar is on this Sunday when Sale host neighbouring Maffra.
These two sides always put on a memorable game and in their 267 contests, there have been 132 wins apiece and three drawn matches.
In the past 10 games it has been five wins each.
Sitting third and fourth on the ladder, this game is signficant as far as the season is concerned.
Last round Sale’s unbeaten run of five wins came to an end courtesy of Morwell in a thriller, while Maffra had an easy time against Moe. A win to Sale will give them a buffer in second spot while Maffra must win to stop the other teams from putting pressure on them.
Bairnsdale v Leongatha
Premiership favourites Leongatha make the journey to Bairnsdale in the knowledge they have won the past 10 matches against the Redlegs.
So far the Redlegs have been hot and cold, and the opposition travelling east will not know what they are up against until they run onto the ground.
Leongatha is a more complete side this year and with Dwayne Holt and Jake Best dominating up forward, it should keep its unbeaten run for a little while longer.