HEYFIELD will be primed for its showdown against rival and third-placed Churchill, which comes into the contest on the back of a 22-goal victory in its last North Gippsland football hit-out.
Coming to life after an indifferent month, the Cougars sealed a comprehensive win at home to put their season back on track and keep them in touch with the leading quartet.
The Cougars’ resolve will again be tested when they travel to Heyfield in one of the hardest road trips on the fixture.
The two clubs were fierce rivals during the mid-2000s and contested three grand finals from 2003 to 2009.
Churchill was gifted a 25-point head start in their last meeting, before the ‘Roos mounted a courageous challenge to win by a kick.
Heyfield can ill afford a similar start given the intensity of the competition.
Sale City v Rosedale
IN a tough initiation to the coaching caper, Sale City coach Joel Brayshaw will need to rally and refocus the young pups who have registered just two wins to date.
Brayshaw has done well to continue to develop a young evolving side which has felt the effects of a spate of preseason departures.
Round nine will see the Dogs host last year’s grand finalist Rosedale which, after a strong start to the season, has dropped two of its past three matches.
Boasting a stronger, more experienced list with a hard working backline, tall forward structure and damaging engine room, the Blues appear to have too many winners around the ground and should have no trouble recording their sixth win.
Boisdale/Briagolong v Glengarry
AFTER celebrating its second win in round seven, Boisdale/Briagolong Bombers came crashing back down to earth with a 10-goal defeat at the hands of fourth placed Rosedale.
On Saturday the Bombers will host a team on the rise which has won its last two matches on the run for a 3-5 win loss ledger.
This week’s opponent, seventh placed Glengarry, has scored two convincing wins against top five sides Rosedale and Woodside recently.
The Magpies have taken flight of late with renewed confidence and are up and about chasing down fifth position.
Cowwarr v Gormandale
COWWARR has lived up to its title as sleeping giant, with the Saints again starting the season slowly before turning giant killer.
Evening their win loss ledger at four apiece with a 50-point drubbing of their higher ranked opposition TTU last round, the Saints are looking good and will be eager to claim the points ahead of a showdown against Churchill.
Before the big contest against the Cougars, Gormandale stands in the path of the Saints.
The Tigers remain a work in progress, having performed in patches, but an inability to string together a solid four quarter effort has hindered them to date.
Woodside v TTU
THE competition’s marked improvers, fifth-placed Woodside and second-placed TTU, will meet at Woodside Recreation Reserve with the Bombers eager to reverse their fortunes of the last fortnight.
After winning their opening five matches, the Bombers have struck turbulence, dropping their past two against quality opposition in Heyfield and Cowwarr.
Convincingly beaten by the Saints, the Bombers will be eager to snap their losing streak in a tough assignment against the Wildcats who have enjoyed early success on their home turf.