Cougars prepare to sink teeth into Dogs



CHURCHILL is on the back of an impressive three-game winning streak, but faces its biggest test this weekend when it meets an improved Sale City line-up in round five of North Gippsland football.

Taking to the highway for what will be Sale City’s fourth consecutive away clash, Dogs coach Hayden Burgiel said he was pleased with his side’s progress in the opening month of the competition.

“The guys have taken the challenge of the new game plan and are showing improvement each week,” Burgiel said.

“Looking at where the side was last year, (this year) the side is more structurally sound and have taken on board the changes that have been implemented.”

The Dogs claimed their second win of the season with a seven-point victory against Woodside, however Burgiel is keen for more improvement knowing Saturday’s contest will be a tough challenge.

“I haven’t heard too much about Churchill and as such I don’t know enough about them,” he said.

“My focus isn’t on the opposition it is on what the side can achieve.

“We have a few back in this week including Jake Schuback, which will strengthen the line-up.

“Looking at the draw at the start of the season I thought that if we could be two and two from the four away games it would be a pleasing result.”

Glengarry v Woodside

Glengarry has boasted some purple patches of form, but it knows a strong four-quarter effort is required if it wants to take the points from Woodside.

Both teams sit on two wins each and a victory on Saturday would provide a handy break from the log jam on the ladder.

The Magpies were plucky against the Bombers and won by four points and then claimed a one-point thriller against Rosedale.

However, Woodside has not been too convincing either, as the Wildcats came from behind in game one of round four against rival Yarram to claim a one-point win and also claimed the honours in the opening round against Boisdale/Briagolong.

Woodside dropped the points on Sunday after a strong start, so will be looking for improvement against last season’s premiers.

Rosedale v Heyfield

The key to Rosedale’s forward line is Andrew Flanagan.

He has kicked multiple hauls this season, including eight and five in the past fortnight.

His bag of nine goals on Anzac Day elevated his season standing to 24.

Flanagan is just one of several key figures that will need to be contained by ladder leaders Heyfield if it is to claim the four points and hold on to its undefeated status.

While Heyfield has been ruthless in its disposal of sides in the opening rounds, Rosedale was perhaps lucky to get away with the great escape against Traralgon Tyers United.

The Kangaroos’ options in the forward 50 are one for any opposition coach to envy.

The back six, led by Scott Anderson, has all but shut down most opposition forward lines, conceding a mere 184 points in four contests – an impressive average of 46 points per a game.

TTU v Cowwarr

Winless Traralgon Tyers United knows it has had an unlucky start to its 2014 campaign, after being run over the top of in the dying stages of the contest in rounds two and four.

The Bombers meet Cowwarr, a team which just secured its first points of the season on Saturday.

Regardless of the ladder position of the sides, the contest between them is always fierce.

In its current form expect the Saints to take their chances, however bragging rights may just go to TTU.

Yarram v Gormandale

Yarram will come into the contest against Gormandale refreshed and ready to go having sat out the second week of the split round.

It has been an indifferent season to date for the Demons who have stood up and announced on several occasions that they are a side set on playing finals footy, but on the road the success has not been as forthcoming.

Yarram will return to its home ground in round five, which has quickly become a fortress, however Gormandale will aim to be the first North Gippsland club to claim bragging rights at the Demons’ home.

Victory has so far eluded the Tigers and they will need to refocus from the disappointment of last week’s thumping at the hands of Churchill, and take the game up to a formidable opponent.

Boisdale/Briagolong has the bye.