None unscathed at halfway



At the halfway mark of the Gippsland League season, there is no side left without chinks in the armour.

Following Morwell’s loss to Sale last weekend, there are no unbeaten teams left in the competition.

Serving the Tigers their first loss since last year’s historic grand final win, Sale extended a winning streak of its own; the victory was the Magpies’ 25th straight at home.

Over the past few years Sale’s ground has become a fortress, falling once in 33 matches.

Last year’s runner up is on track to break the Gippsland League record for home ground wins, held by Maffra which won 31 straight between round nine, 2003 and round 17, 2006.

Morwell v Wonthaggi

This weekend Morwell will face another danger game when it travels to Wonthaggi to take on the in form Power.

“It’ll be a good contest against a really good side,” Morwell coach Harmit Singh said.

The Tigers have won eight of the 10 clashes since the Power’s 2010 return to the competition, including its past four visits to the Bass Coast.

However if history repeats itself Morwell could be on track for a second consecutive loss, as was the case last year when the Tigers fell to Sale and Wonthaggi.

“Last year we split our games with both sides winning away, they have a good balance between offense and defense, so it will be a big challenge for us,” Singh, who has taken plenty away from his side’s first loss of 2014, said.

“We will tidy up a few things that we didn’t do well on the weekend.”

Currently plagued by injury, the reigning premier is confident it will have its best 22 back on the park in coming weeks.

“We have got a lot of injuries at the moment, but that’s given a lot of other guys opportunities and those that have come in have been really impressive,” Singh said.

Traralgon v Sale

TRARALGON’S season is on the line and there is no easy solution this week.

The Maroons suffered a shock loss to Leongatha last week, and this weekend faces Sale, which is fresh from upsetting the reigning premier.

The Magpies have won their past five clashes with Traralgon by margins ranging from 21 to 67 points.

Saturday will mark the beginning of two tough weeks for the Maroons, with Sale and Wonthaggi looming.

If Traralgon loses both and Maffra wins twice, it could rule the Maroons out for September.

Moe v Maffra

THE much improved Moe will take on its coach Adrian Burgiel’s former team for the second time this year.

When the sides met in round one, the Lions got off to a dream start before being outplayed by the Eagles.

“We kicked the first four goals against them in round one, so second and third quarters will let them down, give them a shake early and see what happens,” Burgiel said.

Moe will be without Tom Long who has suffered a hamstring injury.

Bairnsdale v Leongatha

TWO of the competition’s big improvers will do battle under lights on Saturday night.

Bairnsdale is fresh from a 65 point win over Moe, while Leongatha is coming off its biggest win of 2014.

Last weekend marked the first time this year the Parrots have beaten a side above them on the ladder.

And while coach Glenn Garner urged his side to enjoy the win over Traralgon, he is under no illusions about the challenge at hand.

“If we want to be any good, we have got to knock off sides above us on the ladder and the next month will be a test because we have got all of them,” Garner said.

Leongatha has fled with the points on its past three visits to Bairnsdale and the visitor will not be short of support.

“We have great supporters, they are pretty passionate supporters and it’s better when we are winning I can tell you,” Garner said.

Warragul v Drouin

The second west Gippsland derby of 2014 is a Sunday afternoon match to wrap up round 10.

This time Warragul will host Drouin.

Despite their meagre ladder positions, the Gulls and the Hawks are expected to put on a show.