Sport

Old rivals have just pride to battle for

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August 03, 2017

Pat Frappell (right) has impressed in the ruck for Katandra in recent weeks as his side still chases an elusive first win this season.

Two of the Picola District Football League’s grandest rivals have only pride to play for on Saturday when Katandra hosts Katamatite.

The Kats are winless after 15 rounds, while Tyler Sprunt and Matt Dwyer have an opportunity to register back-to-back victories for the first time as the Tigers’ co-coaches.

In fact, if the Tigers were to win it would be the first time since round seven 2015 they did notch successive wins.

‘‘It would be a huge achievement, we haven’t been able to achieve it as co-coaches, but I think it will be a good opportunity for the boys to do it,’’ Sprunt said.

‘‘However, it won’t be easy, they will have been waiting to play us for a long time, they will probably see this game as their only real opportunity to register a win.’’

Confidence in the Tigers’ den is sky high following their 35-point victory against Waaia and with the return of former coach Tyson Saunders, the Kats have plenty to worry about down back.

The power forward has only played four games this season and two of those were conveniently against the Kats, where he kicked bags of six and five goals, respectively.

‘‘He is the Katandra specialist,’’ Sprunt said.

‘‘It is good to have him back in the side and he loves running around against Katandra, so hopefully he can continue that trend.’’

Kats co-coach Ramadan Yze was expecting a fiery game and believed his side was in with an opportunity to snare its first victory.

‘‘We go into every game thinking we can win, last week was a slip in the road for our development, but I do feel the boys have come a long way,’’ Yze said.

Five of the Kats’ past seven defeats have come by less than 40 points, an improvement that has pleased Yze.

‘‘We haven’t been getting the results, but I feel the boys are starting to adapt to what Sam Ahmet and I have been trying to teach them,’’ Yze said.

‘‘Some of those results have come against the best sides in the competition, so we know we can match it, but it is our consistency that we need to keep on top of.’’

Pat Frappell has been a revelation in recent weeks for the Kats in the ruck, while Corey Hickford leads their goalkicking with 19.

Shepparton East v Tungamah

The Picola District Football League south-east minor premiership could be decided on Saturday when the competition’s top two sides clash.

With three rounds to go reigning premier Shepparton East sits one game clear on top from Tungamah, but the latter has a better percentage.

The Bears demolished Katandra by 162 points last round, with playing coach Jeremy O’Brien (nine goals), Duane Haebich (seven) and Ash Saunders (six) all kicking a bag.

In a complete performance not only did O’Brien’s side muster 44 scoring opportunities, but they also kept the Kats goalless in the second and fourth quarters.

Meanwhile, the Eagles ended Rennie’s winning streak, defeating the Grasshoppers by six goals, but it did come at a cost.

Nathan Barolli (hamstring) and Jeromy Aynsley (knee) are expected to miss the next few weeks.

Dookie v Rennie

If Dookie can continue its run on from last week, it will be every chance of handing Rennie back-to-back losses on Saturday.

Patrick McMullan’s side was 28 points down at three-quarter-time against Katunga last round, but five unanswered goals in the final term ensured United would not only win, but also keep its finals aspirations alive.

United is one game behind the fifth-placed Swans with three games to go, while the Grasshoppers were brought back to reality against league leaders Shepparton East.

Craig Ednie’s men, who had won seven games on the trot, lost by six goals at home.

Former Richmond and Collingwood ruckman Steve McKee played his first game for Rennie, and Ednie’s close mate need to play the remaining three matches to qualify for finals.

Waaia v Katunga

Katunga is flirting with falling out of finals and Saturday’s clash against Waaia is crucial to keeping fifth spot.

The Swans lost to the team trying to take fifth off them — Dookie United — last round, while the Bombers are similarly low on confidence after second bottom Katamatite surprisingly ended their four-game winning streak.

A third straight loss could drop Katunga out of the five, while a win for fourth-placed Waaia could lift it up to third.

There could be a classic forward shootout between Katunga’s former AFL player Callum Wilson, who leads the south-east division with 58 goals, and Waaia’s Charlie Burrows, who has bagged 42.

The midfield battle will be just as vital with Matt McCarty, Ash Quinn and Jesse Trower potential matchwinners for Waaia, while co-coach Eamon Reeves and Shannon Emmett are constant barometers for Katunga.

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