Sport

Rebuilding block huge

by
July 27, 2017

Shepparton East ruckman Damon Carroll will miss a few games after injuring his shoulder last week.

Shepparton East will be hoping to bounce back after its disappointing loss to Waaia.

Dwain Vidler’s troops were not up to it against the Bombers, but a week is a long time in football and he backed his side to rebound against Rennie on Saturday.

‘‘It is a huge game, we know what we are up against and we will have to play somewhat near our best,’’ Vidler said.

‘‘If we play anything like we did last week, there will be no point in turning up.’’

The Eagles, who sit on top of the Picola District Football League south-east division ladder, travel to face a Grasshoppers side that has won six games on the trot.

‘‘It going to be tough, they are full of confidence at the moment and they are well drilled by Craig Ednie,’’ Vidler said.

The Grasshoppers’ last loss was against the Eagles, but Vidler believed a lot had changed since then.

‘‘We take a little bit out of that game, but we have to focus on ourselves first,’’ Vidler said.

‘‘We know we are a good side when we are good, but at the moment we need to bridge the gap between our best and worst football.’’

The Eagles have lost two games this season and it is the first time since 2012 where every team in south-east division has lost two or more games in a single year.

Vidler will be with ruckman Damon Carroll, who hurt his shoulder last week, while swingman David Gillespie is still out, making it a little harder to curtail the influence of the Grasshoppers’ in form forward Cam Sudholz.

Sudholz has kicked three or more goals in each of his past six games, coinciding with his side’s recent run of form.

‘‘They have got a few options down there now, they are a little unpredictable now that Chase Strawhorn is out,’’ Vidler said.

Win, lose or draw the Eagles are in the middle of a tough three-week period where next week they will face second-placed Tungamah.

‘‘It is a big block of games, of course we want to win every game, but I feel we just need to get back to playing our structures and style of football first and then I think the results will come,’’ Vidler said.

Katamatite v Waaia

Katamatite will host the competition’s in form team on Saturday in Waaia.

The Bombers are fresh off a five-goal win against league leader Shepparton East, while the Tigers have not registered a win in six weeks.

Tyler Sprunt and Matt Dwyer last tasted success against Katandra and in that same period Mick Cleeland’s side has only dropped one game.

The Bombers have beaten Katunga, Tungamah, Dookie, Katandra and the Eaglesto emerge as a genuine south-east division premiership contender.

Matt Brown, Mark Meyland and Charlie Burrows have been prominent going forward for the Bombers and if the Tigers are any chance, they will need to curtail Matt McCarty’s influence from midfield.

The reigning Pearce medallist has been in scintillating touch of late, while Burrows has booted 40 goals in 14 games.

Katunga v Dookie

Katunga could end Dookie United’s finals aspirations with a win in this contest.

United sits two wins behind the fifth-placed Swans and winning is the only option for Pat McMullan’s side.

Both sides enter the clash out of touch a little having lost three of their past five matches, with the Swans having lost to competition’s top three sides.

Meanwhile, United has fallen well short of Shepparton East, Waaia and Tungamah.

A Swans win would lift them within four points of the Bombers in fourth position, should results fall in their favour.

McMullan will cause the Swans’ defence problems with the playing coach having kicked 25 goals, while former West Coast Eagles forward Callum Wilson has snared 60 goals and is potential match-winner for Katunga every week.

Tungamah v Katandra

Jeremy O’Brien will be hoping his side can make it two wins on the trot when Tungamah hosts Katandra.

The Bears have hit a little form slump of late and with only three rounds to go before finals, the Kats could act as a real confidence booster for the Bears.

However, the Kats will be no easybeats despite being winless this year.

Kats co-coaches Ramadan Yze and Sam Ahmet have turned things around slightly with better performances in recent rounds.

The Kats have lost five or their past six games by 40 points or less, in comparison to their first five rounds where the average losing margin was 65 points.

Ash Saunders (46 goals), O’Brien (30) and Matt Clarke (25) will pose threats with Tungamah trio combining for 101 goals this season, seven more than the whole Kats side.

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