CHRL Preview: Round 3

CAMERON STALLARD

Three teams remain undefeated on top in the Central Highlands competition after two rounds with some mouth-watering clashes this weekend.

It works out to be 1v3, 2v4, 5v6 and 7v8 this week so it’s a very evenly matched draw with all teams a chance of taking home two points.

The prestigious Allen Johnson Memorial Shield is also up for grabs this weekend between Middlemount and Springsure in Middlemount.

This clash couldn’t come at a better time in the draw with both teams coming into the match undefeated.

ROUND 3 FIXTURES

Clermont Bears Ladies v Blackwater Crushettes
5.30pm Saturday, May 13
Clermont Sportsgrounds

Plenty of rivalry will be out in the middle on Saturday night between these two sides and the stage is set for an absolute cracker!
The Crushettes would be disappointed in letting in the try just before halftime last Friday night which eventually cost them the game due to the injury.
Blackwater also need to work on their poor starts. Plenty of dropped ball and silly errors in the first ten minutes is costing them and if they’re not careful, the Bears will make them pay for it.
Despite an impressive score line, last week’s game for the Bears can be written off in the form guide.
Expect the five Crows representatives to fire for the Bears as the State Carnival nears.
It’s hard to tip against the Bears at home.

Emerald Cowgirls v Dysart Bulls Ladies
5.30pm Saturday, May 13
McIndoe Park Emerald

The last time these two teams met, the Cowgirls upset the Bulls and earnt themselves a finals berth … will the Bulls get one back on the Cowgirls?
It’s going to be a tough task for the Bulls following last week’s big loss to the table-topping Bears. Hopefully the young side can regroup and build some confidence in the middle this weekend.
The Cowgirls are also coming off a big loss to the Crushettes but have had a few weeks off to regroup and the home crowd will give them a boost.
Tayla Bean is a powerhouse for the Cowgirls and will  be ready to tackle the house down after her performance in Blackwater. With Caitlyn Sheehan expecting to return as hooker, Bean will most probably return to the halves.
It’s going to be a more even affair for both teams this week and anyone can take home the two points. Dangerous to tip against the home side though.

Clermont Bears v Blackwater Crushers
7pm Saturday, May 13
Clermont Sportsgrounds

2v4 in a top four clash and plenty of rivalry on display for Clermont’s first home game of the year.
The Bears side dominated Tigers and Dysart in their first two outings and the experience that Dean Williams, Alfie Shannon and Dylan Breckon brings to the youthful Bears side is invaluable to their transition to A Grade.
The Crushers have a big forward pack and behind them, some crafty backs. Their defence alone won Blackwater the match last Friday night.
Expect a big game from Tom Murray again, who has played outstanding in his first two games for Clermont at halfback and hooker. Adam Stewart will also be looking to have another blinder for the Crushers in the halves following his player of the match performance last Friday.
Tough road trip for the Crushers. The Bears will start favourites.

Emerald Cowboys v Dysart Bulls
7pm Saturday, May 13
McIndoe Park Emerald

Sometimes the two teams who are on the bottom of the ladder produce the best games to watch and this week, it would be silly to stay at home and miss this clash.
The Cowboys have had great first halves in their first two starts but haven’t been able to go on and win the game. This week is their big chance to string two halves together and get their first two points.
Equally, the Dysart Bulls have a prime opportunity to get their two points if they can do the same thing – string two halves of footy together.
Expect a close one at McIndoe. Both teams have an equal opportunity. If you were to pick a team to win, you’d have to stick to the home team principle, but everyone knows that Dysart can deliver an upset or two.

Bluff Rabbitohs v Emerald Tigers
7pm Saturday, May 13
Macca’s Oval Bluff

The defending premiers have had a tough start to the season going down to Clermont and Blackwater and it’s not going to be any easier this week with a trip to Bluff.
The Rabbitohs didn’t get the win last weekend in Springsure and losing those two points will fire up the home side.
Chris Conway has been excellent in his first outings for the Rabbitohs and loves playing at home, as does captain Peter McLaughlin.
McLaughlin’s high bombs will test Tigers’ Isaiah Huet but he is one of the best fullbacks in Central Highlands and should handle himself well.
The young and upcoming Tigers who played last week deserve another call up, particularly Lachlan Rodgers who was outstanding defending the left side of the field.
Even though the Tigers have defeated the Rabbitohs in Bluff in the previous years, this week it would be a safe tip to select the home side.

Middlemount Panthers v Springsure Mountain Men
Emerald Star Hotel Match of the Round

7pm Saturday, May 13
Norm Blanche Oval Middlemount

What a mouth-watering top of the table clash for the match of the round!
Both teams will throw everything at this match playing for not only the two points but also a great mate in Allen Johnson who tragically died in 2013.
Middlemount have been dominant in their first two games racking up over 80 points to sit on top of the ladder.
It will be interesting to see if Mitch Wyatte straps the boots on this weekend for the game despite a groin injury. Even if he doesn’t, Ryan Hansell played well at five-eight last week and will most probably partner captain/coach Joel Duffy in the halves.
Springsure have been clinical in their first two games and couldn’t have started the season anymore perfect.
This year’s Mountain Men side is well-balanced with a strong forward pack up front and speedy backs ready to do the damage on the edges.
Sam Cronk was outstanding last week scoring a hattrick at dummy-half and the Mountain Men will count on his speed around the ruck to keep their forwards motoring up the park.
Tough game to tip with most probably only a try making the difference. Middlemount will start favourites but Springsure will come home with a wet sail.

The Central Highlands Call Team will be live from 6.45pm.




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