RELATED COVERAGE: Battle between the big Ms
AFTER missing out on third position and the second chance that comes with it, Traralgon will face sudden death when it meets Wonthaggi at Morwell in Sunday’s elimination final.
“It’s exciting finals are here and we have got to get straight on with it,” Maroons coach Paul McCulloch said.
After a seven-match winning streak, Wonthaggi finished the first half of the season in third on the ladder.
However the second half of the Power’s year was plagued by injury and inaccuracy.
It has overcome its issues in recent weeks with the return of three of its big guns in Aaron Ware, Earl Shaw and Adam Cook.
Traralgon too will be bolstered by some integral inclusions.
Michael Geary will return from injury and, after returning from interstate last week, Danny Campbell will remain in the side.
Traralgon will however be without former Carlton and Port Adelaide player Nick Stevens due to his coaching commitments at Gippsland Power. Stevens will return should the Maroons progress to next weekend’s first semi-final.
McCulloch said his side will have to be at its best to beat the Power.
“We are definitely going to have to bring our best game and play four quarters of good footy. We have dropped off at times during recent weeks and we won’t be able to afford to do that,” he said.
Despite losing to Wonthaggi in their first encounter of the year, the Maroons found form later in the season.
“Wonthaggi are definitely very well coached. They clearly outplayed us the first time around and the second time around when we played them we were playing a lot better footy,” McCulloch said.
“Morwell is not a huge ground but it’s going be in good condition and if the forecasted warmer weather is right and there is no wind, fitness could have a big bearing towards the end of the game.”