Midfield battle crucial to victory

May 11, 2018

Tatura did well to stop Mansfield's Brett Mahoney last week and Seymour will be aiming to do the same tomorrow.

Two gun midfields will go head-to-head when Mansfield travels to Kings Park tomorrow to face Seymour.

The on-ball stocks of each side is its best asset with Tatura’s ability to shut down Eagle Brett Mahoney a reason for the Bulldogs’ success last week.

Tatura gun Jaydan Thewma tagged Mahoney out of the game, but Lions coach Jason Cole said that would not be his side’s first choice.

‘‘We won’t initially tag him, but we’ll be playing one-on-one footy and be keeping a key eye on him, Jimmy Herridge is in some good form as is Tom German,’’ Cole said.

Mansfield coach Cameron Hotton said German and Mahoney were looking to rebound from last week’s game where they did not have their usual influence.

‘‘Mahoney was probably bound a little bit and didn’t have one of his best games and Tom German was a bit sore in the second half,’’ Hotton said.

‘‘But Jimmy Herridge still put together a good game and Brett and Tom will be keen to come out against Seymour and have a good one.’’

But Cole remains the main man for dictating the Lions’ affairs.

He has been the side’s best player for the past four games, with no team able to stem his impact, but Hotton hopes his side can be the first to do that.

‘‘He’s hard to tag because he’s such an in and under player and spreads really hard and gets past the next contest and works really hard,’’ Hotton said.

‘‘We know how much of an influence he has on the team, so quelling his influence will go a long way.’’

Ryan Bartlett made a speedy recovery from facial fractures to be among Mansfield’s best last week, with Hotton impressed by his attack on the ball after suffering the severe injury.

The task at Kings Park is large, especially given the Lions were sparked by an away win against Rochester last week.

‘‘It’s been a slow build, but every week we’re getting better and better, we’ve had good numbers on the track and everyone has been really keen,’’ Cole said.

‘‘They’re (Mansfield) always super competitive and strong bodied, so it’ll be a physical game, but hopefully we can get them on the outside.’’

One player who has earned his right to stay in the senior side is Bryce Scoullar, promoted to the top tier last week where he excelled.

‘‘He played a couple of (senior) games about two or three years ago and then had a couple of bad injuries including a lower-leg injury,’’ Cole said.

‘‘But he was super on the weekend and I’m really happy with how he went, he’s got great size and the footy brains, so he’s started to pull that all together.’’

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