Sport

Prepared to dish out a Tung-lashing

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September 14, 2017

Adam Dodd was best afield in Tungamah's second semi-final win against Rennie.

They have had the week off, they trained at Katandra on Saturday and they are in the best possible shape heading into Saturday’s grand final.

Tungamah, who has the chance to make it four premierships in the past five years, is looking to rewrite last year’s wrongdoing after losing to Shepparton East in the big dance.

Co-coach Jeremy O’Brien, who coached the Bears to the 2014 and 2015 flags, felt his side could deliver again on the biggest of stages after a solid two weeks on the track.

‘‘We are ready to go, it is going to be a huge game with everything to lose,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘We had the opportunity to prepare ourselves physically and mentally, so hopefully that has placed us in a good position come Saturday.’’

The Bears were given a well earned week off after defeating Rennie in the second semi-final, but O’Brien knows his side still must play better than that to claim another premiership.

‘‘They are a good side, they are going to come out at us hard and we need to play better than what we did a few weeks ago,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘We need to capitalise, we have looked back at the game, we’ve looked at what we did right and wrong and we have addressed those issues.’’

Damian Payne is expected to play on Grasshoppers forward Chase Strawhorn again, while Bodhi Butts has the opportunity to showcase his Pearce Medal-winning talents.

The half-back flanker was awarded the competition’s best player on Monday night and O’Brien believed he would have no problem delivering on the big stage.

‘‘He rarely plays a bad game, he won’t be fussed by the occasion and I will expect him to go about business as usual,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘The same can be said about our whole side, we try and keep things as simple as possible and do what we have been doing all year.’’

Adrian Connell will be available for selection after returning from injury and O’Brien and his coaching team are splitting hairs as to whether he should be given a chance.

‘‘He is in our best 22 when fit, but who do we bring out?’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘We as a selectors group are tossing up between a few players, so it is a difficult decision as to what we do.

‘‘I would love to play all the players, but that is football, we have to make some tough calls.’’

The Bears will be hoping a decision to train last weekend was a call that will be justified on Saturday afternoon.

‘‘We ran around for about an hour, it was a solid session, but I think it has given us a better understanding of the ground’s length, width and how to play it,’’ O’Brien said.

Ash Saunders, O’Brien, Duane Haebich and Brent Chapman will be aiming to use the vast expenses at Katandra with the quartet combining for 183 of the Bears’ 353 goals this season.

Saunders has kicked 62 goals in just 14 games, including four a fortnight ago.

In fact, on eight occasions the man they call ‘‘Gooba’’ has kicked four or more goals this season, including a bag of 12 against Katamatite.

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