A CRAPSHOOT round of North Gippsland football will play out this weekend when the top six sides all face off.
Sale City (first) faces Heyfield (sixth), Traralgon Tyers United (third) has Churchill (fifth), while Rosedale (second) has drawn Yarram (fourth).
With just 10 points separating first from sixth, round 14 could have a huge impact on the makeup of the final five.
Rosedale comes into Saturday’s showdown on the back of a barnstorming 136-point thumping of cellar dweller Gormandale, and coach Ben Macreadie wants to see more of the same against the Demons.
“It is a very big game for both sides, which will have a massive impact on ladder positions,” Macreadie said.
“This fortnight is huge for us and could really set us up to have a real crack come finals with a double chance.”
“I’d like to think that we are better placed this time around as you would expect, having played nearly three quarters of the season together.
“Last time we played them they were really physical with us and wore us down by the end of the game. We will be better for that and looking to use our strengths to worry them.”
A four-goal surge helped the Demons post a two-goal victory over the Blues in round five.
“We are definitely aware of their power forwards and will be looking to limit their impact. I have confidence in our backs, but also need pressure on the footy coming into them,” Macreadie said.
Completing the double against grand finalists of the past three seasons, Heyfield, the Demons are up and about.
With an opportunity to lay a claim on a prized top three berth and a double chance, a classic contest awaits.
TRARALGON Tyers United will be hungry to claim a top five scalp after narrowly dropping the points against Rosedale a fortnight ago.
The Bombers will be pitted against the reigning champion Churchill, which moved back into fifth position following a week on the outer.
Despite a return to the top five, Cougars coach Allan Chandler said his side must lock away a finals berth before worrying about the title defence.
“It is nice to be in the five, but we need to be there at the end of the season,” Chandler said.
“Knowing there is going to be a quality side missing out on finals is going to be tough on whoever that is, hopefully it is not us.”
After adding eight goals apiece to their season tallies of 42 and 39 majors respectively, Nic Campbell and Tim Darby will be aided by the return of Brendan Holt and Hamish Towns.
Despite shaking a persistent Bomber outfit in round five, Chandler said his side could not afford to be complacent.
“It is a big match this week, another huge contest that can make a difference in where we are in the pack,” Chandler said.
“Not much can be taken out of the last game. They were missing a couple of key players, we need to be on our game and play with high intensity for the full four quarters.”
Both sides boast quality attacks, with five of the competition’s top six leading goal scorers set to take the field.
The small forward trio of Brian Graham, Chase Saunders and Stephen Hawkins have booted 108 goals between them.
Meeting Sale City ahead of Rosedale and a final round clash against TTU, Heyfield’s difficult run to finals could be either ideal preparation or a death sentence.
In an eight-point ball game, there is plenty at stake for the perennial finalists who find their end-of-season aspirations teetering following a loss to Yarram.
“It is a big three weeks for the side that will decide our fate. We need to win, the boys know where we are at,” coach Damien Birss said.
“We need to not just be competitive, we need to be winning games.”
With a number of changes likely at the selection table, the Kangaroos will benefit from the return of Jesse Bedggood and Matt Goodwin, while Joel Dinsdale will return from injury.
Turning the football over all day against the Demons, the Kangaroos will need to resolve this shortcoming against the competition’s number one ranked side.
“We match up well against Sale City, I am expecting another good game against them,” Birss said.
“The guys will be up and about, ready to go, and we will see what the result is. We will be doing our best to be there come season’s end.”
WOODSIDE will aim to rebound when they host a Cowwarr outfit fresh from holding Sale City to the competition’s first draw of the season.
Sitting side by side on the premiership ladder standings in seventh and eighth-place respectively, plenty is at stake for both.
TRADITIONAL North Gippsland rivals, Gormandale and Glengarry, will meet on Sunday in a clash of two lowly ranked sides.
Enduring an indifferent season, the Tigers have posted two wins to date.
One came against the Magpies in their earlier showdown while the other was the upset of the season over Sale City.
Glengarry will be out to exact revenge, but history favours the Tigers in the past 10 years.
Gormandale claimed the honours in their last three meetings and will again prove to be a test for Glengarry’s resolve.