WEST COAST HAWKS
Thankyou to Wirrulla Football and Netball Clubs, our Grand final host
Could be the closest round yet, with near teams on the ladder challenging each other. The Western Derby, Central Derby, and Eastern Derby. The traditional rivalry round!
Western Districts v Wudinna United at Minnipa
The two teams yet to hit the W column, one will reinstate a claim for finals contention. Important match so early in the season, and two teams who regularly produce a close contest. The Tigers have been in every match for long periods, leading all day against the ’dogs a couple of weeks ago only to go down in heart break at the very end, and similarly leading at ¾ time last week against a good Bombers outfit, but being over run in the last quarter. They must feel that their break through is very close!
Winning plenty in the mid field, Scott Feltus and Shannon Horgan are always prolific, Zane Montgomerie provides flexibility in the big man department, either on ball or in key roles. Kingsley Ware has emerged as the target that Tigers have so desperately needed over past years, and Damon King is in outstanding form. Tigers can move the ball quickly, the likes of Brayden Hedley King, Tobin Lennell and Kirk Hull will shred opposition. When the ball is moving quickly the Tigers are hard to control, they just have to be careful not to surrender momentum themselves by reverting to a trusty low risk chip around game too often! Charlie Williams and Steven Brands expected back so near a full strength team
The Magpies have had a huge playing change making it hard to settle into a game style. Good against the Hawks in round one, but going down to the Bombers and Roosters convincingly since that time. Game time into youngsters will assist for the future. Tyson Tree provides plenty of flexibility with his leap, Justin Davies an excellent pick up, Tyson Jackson and Matt Greatbatch hard working contested ball winners. Old war horses Henry Zwar and Troy Klante love a challenge, and smooth mover Dallas Waters perhaps back to his reliable defence position for this one after sorties forward earlier. Back this week expected is Remi North and Kevin Cummings.
Hard to see the District boys dropping this one at home, they have playing great football for three quarters of all games, so have not much to improve to get the results that they want. Dont expect a big shoot out here though, neither sides game style.
Tigers 30 - 40
Elliston v Central Eyre at Elliston
Very hard one to pick, and a true measure on how far the Roosters have improved taking on the premier of the past three years. The Bulldogs haven’t hit their straps at all yet, playing some younger blokes early for game time, they will improve as the year goes on, and will be cautious of this match up.
Elliston play their home ground well and make playing against them there very difficult. Regular player changes mask just how good these blokes can be when they are at full strength. Full attention to the Maggies last week with a convincing result, that was hard to foresee given the severely weakened side that met the Hawks a week prior. So what Elliston will we see on Saturday? Liam Newton, Delahay Miller, Joe Burgoyne form part of an elite midfield who will challenge anyone on their day, big Otis Carter provides first use many times and good targets forward with Peter Carter and Tom Rumbelow. Tom is so much a barometer to the Roosters, the X factor that the side needs, but he wont play each week. Steve Paul plays key forward and back well, with a host of runners prepared to open up the opposition. Likely back is Jay Williams and Kye Higgins. Would love to have Ben Hurrell on board too!
The Bulldogs went down to the Hawks last weekend, no panic, good players out! When was the last time the ‘Dogs lost consecutive games? It just doesn’t happen in the modern era! The big wheels will start to turn hereafter, young blokes back at school in Adelaide with some valuable game time for later in the year, and the seasoned veterans to the fore. Expect back Tyler Chapman, Ty Mc Kenna, skipper Jake Sampson and Jared Sampson, all big ins. Jesse Stringer is in superb form, so hard to hold, and Tasman Fitzgerald a tower forward. Clint Winter uses the football immaculately and Brett Mc Comb a regular first touch ruckman. Strong and rebounding defence led by Kane Sampson. The ‘dogs hit their targets and are prepared to work for each other, hence the shortage of storage space at the kennel to house their many cups, flags, trophies etc.
Over the years these sides have produced some of the most bruising and brutal affairs against each other. This will be another close one and one will go to at least outright second on the table. Maybe Central Eyre by virtue of experience, but no confidence here at the Rooster Pen.
Bulldogs 10 - 20
West Coast Hawks v Wirrulla at Piednippie
The Western Derby, neighbours who share a hotly disputed border. A true no mans land. Both of these clubs enter the match in good form, with potential to take this out, the final game at Piednippie for the year and to establish a strong claim on finals. The Hawks back to their most comfortable position, atop of the ladder, and the Bombers with two good wins the last two starts.
The Hawks really enjoy this type of challenge, brings out their fast moving best. Classy midfield in wonderful form, Mail Medallist Dylan Kelsh, welcome return of Joe Mc Innis, Mark Dolling always a prime mover, the slick athletic Cameron Montgomerie. Great mix of hard ball winning ability and speed. Aiden Whitford is a key target forward, but travels up the ground regularly, and Nick Schumann enjoyed a telling return last week, four goals and dangerous all day. Strong defence with Derick Freeman, Kirk Montgomerie and Scott Montgomerie teaming so well. Cody Colbung a big return to a club already with a strong list and Braden Holmes lending experience (and advice) against his old club. Expect back Ryan Hicks and Jake Mc Evoy, but Dillon Montgomerie out.
So much to like about the Bombers, when they move the ball quickly they are hard to stop. Simon Webb in sparkling form, maybe just needs to reset his radar slightly in shots on goal, but he is winning so much of it. Yanni Kozminski valuable either on the ball or key forward. Great pick ups this year in Darryl Dudley, Jerome Newchurch and Emmanuel Sansbury, and the welcome return of Reegan Mastrangelo. Class act Mitchell Gum and the hustle/bustle of Ryan Watson have seen the Bombers string some fantastic footy together. Back this week expected is Willy Mayhew, dedicated and strong key defender who will be very important.
The Hawks will start a slight favourite, home ground and unbeaten to this point but the Bombers have the fire power to stun this time around. Plenty to like in the form of both clubs so expect an enthralling match up.
Hawks 20 - 30