Cowwarr v TTU
Needing to be measured and controlled in their approach to coming weeks, Cowwarr will be out to mark decorated born and bred local and premiership Saint Shane Morgan’s 200th club match with victory.
A league best and fairest winner in 2005 in the thirds competition, league rookie of the year footballer, premiership player in 2006 and league team of the year member, Morgan is not unfamiliar with the highs and lows of football and will be confident that his side can maintain their stranglehold on a finals berth.
Winning two on the run has seen Cowwarr move from outside the five to fifth position in a fortnight, the Saints will play host to TTU and the ABC ‘The Coodabeen Champions’ in a massive day for the club.
“If we can win three of these (next four games) and carry some momentum into 2015 it would be a good result.” Bomber coach Matt Stolarczyk said.
With a finals berth on the line and matches against top-of-the-table sides, Rosedale and Heyfield in the coming fortnight, Saturday is a crucial must-win match for the Saints if they are to keep their finals pulse beating.
Heyfield v Rosedale
There is no bigger game than that between undefeated ladder leaders Heyfield and Rosedale, who sit four games behind in third.
While the Kangaroos appear to have one hand on the premiership silverware after tightening their already short quote to take the title in 2014, there are a number of challengers with this week’s opponent and second-placed Churchill continue to prove they too aren’t far off the mark.
Boasting a rife rivalry, the Blues can be referred to the as the thorn in Heyfield’s side with Rosedale holding the upper hand in the win-loss ledger in past seasons despite dropping the points in their round five showdown by under two kicks.
Sitting one game clear of fourth-placed Sale City, Saturday is about more than just the four points for last year’s preliminary finalists Rosedale.
Should City halt the running streak of Churchill, they will mount an attack on a double chance come the first week of finals. That is something Rosedale coach Nick Leechino and his chargers have worked so hard to maintain a stranglehold on for the majority of the season.
With the minor premiership honours sealed and delivered, the Kangaroos will be out to extend their winning streak to 15.
The stage is set for an early prelude to September action with the victor to boast bragging rights leading into finals.
Woodside v Glengarry
Claiming bragging rights for the second time against Yarram, Woodside kept their slim chances of breaking into the top five alive with the side one game shy of having the Saints measure for the prized fifth place.
Sitting alongside one another in the logjam on the premiership ladder, the match between Woodside and Glengarry is expected to offer plenty.
The Wildcats are eager for redemption following the one that got away against the Magpies first time around, falling short by three points.
Coach Ryan Potter will need to refocus his chargers and have them primed for the contest which will see one side deservedly seal a morale boosting victory before season’s end.
Sale City v Churchill
Set to make a return to finals action after a year’s absence, two-time premier Sale City will be out to halt the juggernaut that is Churchill.
Claiming the honours at Gaskin Park by 17 points, Sale coach Hayden Burgiel said his side would take plenty of confidence into the contest, having knocked off the second-placed Cougars first time around.
Referred to as one of the toughest road trips on the fixture by opposition coaches, the confidence that the Dogs will have leading into the contest will make for a competitive showdown.
“It’s definitely a big game, we knocked them off at home last time and we will take a lot of confidence into the clash,” Burgiel said.
“We are looking forward to it, we took a fair bit of confidence from the Heyfield game and then followed it up the week following with some good footy against Bosidale.”
The going hasn’t been easy for the fourth placed Dogs who have boasted an endless list of omissions through injury and unavailability which saw some 10 players absent from the clash against Heyfield including ruckman Matt Lutze, Josh Barbetti, Ken Hughes and Burgiel.
Despite this, the Dogs, through fringe players, have been able to fill the void and maintain a winning run which has them poised to knock on the door to a top three finish, and subsequent double chance the first week in finals.
“The loss to Gormandale hurt us, but we know where we are at and we know what the verdict is if we can beat Churchill.
“We lose, and Rosedale wins which would place them two games clear of us, our top three chances are gone.
“The boys are pumped, we know that we are guaranteed a place in finals, the challenge will be to match a side who are playing good football and continue to develop and encourage the sides confidence and belief,” Burgiel said.
Gormandale v Yarram
Returning home after a tough showing against Churchill, Gormandale will host Yarram, who dropped more than four points against Woodside.
Yarram’s costly second half fade-out seeing it slip to seventh position on the premiership ladder standings which was welcomed by the Cowwarr faithful, the Saints elevated to fifth position.
The Demons must turn their form around if they are to make an impact come September.
With both sides desperate for the points, expect a tough physical contest with Yarram to return to the winners list.
Boisdale/Briagolong has the bye.