Tigers keep a lid on it

May 04, 2018

Rochester's Steven Stroobants and Nathan Marrone have been influential in the Tigers' strong start to the season.

Two of the Goulburn Valley League’s biggest unknown quantities face off tomorrow at Moon Oval.

Rochester hits its clash Seymour with the better win-loss record, but will not be expecting an easy day against the Lions, especially after they gave Shepparton a massive push last time out.

At 3-1, the Tigers have defied an off-season list transformation to look more polished, if anything, than last season — but coach James Flaherty was keen for his side to stay humble.

‘‘There was a lot spoken about us and we did lose nine or 10 players from our last game, some we couldn’t do much about,’’ he said.

‘‘But we had to change a few things, bring in some young guys and I recruited three or four who are moving really well with or without the ball.

‘‘We’ve opened up okay, but it’s only round four and we need to keep pushing.’’

Beating Mooroopna, Mansfield and Tatura in consecutive weeks brings the Tigers to their Seymour showdown in good touch, and with Seymour and Shepparton United to come, they could well see themselves 5-1 at the interleague break.

‘‘(Seymour) is a bit of an unknown with all their turnover, but with Coley (Jason Cole) and (Ben) Clifton coaching there now it’s a new challenge, and they went all right last week,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘We identified last week the three-week block before the break is a good chance for us to get some wins.’’

Seymour co-coach Jason Cole expected the usual fierce challenge from the Tigers.

‘‘It’s probably going to come down to who can bring the most effort and they’ve still got Nathan Marrone, Steven Stroobants, and Flaherty and (James) Gledhill,’’ Cole said.

‘‘They’re strong at both ends and hopefully we can curb their influence.

‘‘We know Rochester is a high possession team that likes to move the ball quickly.’’

Jake Anderson impressed again in the near-miss against Shepparton, while Cole and Billy Cox have been influential.

The coach was proud of the Shepparton effort, but said getting a win this weekend would be crucial for keeping the season heading in the right direction.

‘‘We’re 1-3 at the moment and you don’t want to fall too far past that mark,’’ Cole said.

‘‘Close losses, as good as they are for development, they cost you at the end of the year and we’re definitely hoping to get a win here.’’

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