First Grade Preview Round 15
With the top two spots sewn up by Casey and Werribee respectively, the race for third and fourth are heating up and every game is becoming more and more vital.
This weekend is no exception, with the match-up between Altona and Sunbury determining whether the third spot is still alive, with a Sunbury win all but assuring them of a finals berth.
The previous matchup between these two sides was quite a margin, with the Tigers easily accounting for the Roosters, 38-16. Atonio Sheck was able to control the game for the Tigers, with his hat-trick help setting the comprehensive victory.
However, since then Altona hasn’t been able to recover from their heavy defeat, falling to be fifth on the ladder, and now in fears of missing the top four. While the Tigers haven’t been as convincing as what we expect, but haven managed to claw their way to third spot behind the two powerhouses.
Altona’s scoring has been a revelation this season, ranking second behind Casey for most points scored, however, they haven’t been able to get back on defence, and hold their opponents in their half long enough, ranking in the bottom half of the league for points against. For Sunbury on the other hand, they have been really strong in both areas, without lighting it up. However, with a healthy score differential, finals look even brighter for the Tigers.
Samisoni Fusi has been continuing his great form this season, adding weekly to his try-scoring tally, currently standing at 18 for the season. Along with Sheck and Tiaan Wilkins, threats are a plenty for the Tigers going forward.
For the Roosters, Zev John was able to score in the previous meeting with the Tigers, and currently has 12 tries for the season. Teariki Bennion and Keletisia Tongotongo will be aiming to help their team by crossing over the line a few more times also.
This game shapes as a real four-point game, with a Sunbury win all but sewing up their spot in finals, while with a loss becoming a three horse race for the final two spots.
In the weekend’s other game, it will be seventh placed Waverley playing against bottom placed side North West Wolves.
Altona Roosters v Sunbury Tigers – Tigers by 8
North West Wolves v Waverley Oakleigh Panthers – Panthers by 6