ROUND 8 JUNE 27
NANGILOC v GOL GOL @ NANGILOC
MERINGUR v BAMBILL @ LAKE CULLULLERAINE (Oval 1)
CARDROSS v MWERRIMULL @ CARDROSS
Millewa Football League
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Round 8 Preview
Have The Hawks Lifted Their Game?
Clear of the bottom two sides by three games, the Gol Gol Hawks take their improvement on the road to face top of the ladder Nangiloc in todays match of the day in Round 8 of Millewa football.
With a return to form last week with a big second half, Sam Curran’s side now gets to test it’s credentials against a Demon side that has hit the top of the ladder and not lost since round 1. The injection of Sam Brinsmead into a a midfield that already has quality through the likes of Cam Peters, Troy Francis, Scott Golding and Braydon Ottrey to name but a few. The likes of Gol Gol’s Zac Westhead, who has been in great form the last month, Jake Freckleton, Clay Kerr and Darren Brown will need to play well on their opponents through the midfield for the Hawks to have a chance.
If the Gol Gol midfield can get on top, then they do have enough forward strength though Dion Collins, Jonah Wright and the in form Gareth Collins. The Nangiloc defence has been solid this season, with Lachlan Rohde leading the way, and having Josh Berry join the group in recent week has strengthened the unit. Much will hinge though on the Nangiloc forwards. Sonny Lindsay hasn’t been named in the side, so much of the responsibility will fall to Lachlan and Ryan Dowdy to provide the deep forward scoring options. Expect Shaun McInerney to play a loose man across half back and inside the defensive 50 in an attempt to stop the supply, with Jack Mclean and Jarrod Roberts to take responsibility for the key forwards.
Prediction: There was an 11 goal margin the last time these two side met, but Gol Gol has improved since then with good form in the past two weeks. The gap though between themselves and the top sides in the competition hasn’t closed completely though, and even without two of their big forwards Nangiloc should run out winners. Demons by 25 points.
Meringur faced an already though task on paper taking on Bambill at Lake Cullulleraine, but one that has now been made even tougher by the fact the Saints are coming off two consecutive losses for the first time since television went to colour!
Bambill blew a four goal lead at the last change last week and it left coach Darren Atkinson furious. By all reports, there was a few opinions shared by the coach after the game and on Tuesday night at training which Atkinson will home gets his side focused and ready for action today. Luke Stanbrook continues to set the benchmark across half forward, and assisted by Luke McClelland they are proving to be a tough match for most. Jake Garraway continues to lead through the midfield but twice in the last two weeks the Saints have found themselves chasing and being challenged and unable to respond.
Meringur on the other hand played their best half of football for quite a while in the second half of Nangiloc, showing that they are capable of winning and moving the ball effectively. Jack Lambert played his best game for the year last week, and his tough attitude towards the footy is an example to his teammates. Young ruckman Jack Rentsch faces a tough task against the Bambill talls, while the defensive duo of Toby Quirk-Meeks and Matt McGinty will again need to play well. It will be a tough task though for the young Meringur midfielders without the services of Jayden Harmer and Rob Price (both unavailable) against the bigger bodies of Bambill.
Prediction: Atkinson will be keen for his side to find form after the past couple of weeks heading into a bye, and with a so called “soft kill” on the table no expense will be spared. Meringur will continue to improve, but it won’t happen overnight. Saints by 80 points.
A Cardross side who fell back to earth last week will host Werrimull who come off one of the best wins in recent club history in the final match of the round.
The Lions were completely outclassed in the second half last week, only kicking 1 goal while the defence conceded many. They will be bolstered this week by a number of key personnel returning to the side, including Evan Pitt and Danen Sandiman. Tom Wallace and Michael Laird have been leading the midfield for Cardross this year, but they need more support from the likes of Connor Lynch and Gary Bramley. Andrew Ferguson will have a tough time in defence, as will the forward group coming up against a Werrimull back six that don’t give up many goals.
That six, including Larry Petrolo, Xavier Smith and evergreen veteran Matt Kelly are partly responsible for the Magpies (statistically) having the best defence in the competition. Their midfield group continues to play well, with Cayle Cucia finding his feet, and Reece Crabtree along with coach Shannon Anthony continuing to find plenty of the footy. The Magpies added former Cardross player Ben Ransome to their forward line last week, and in possibly a best on ground performance he showed he has lost none of his skills. IT will be interesting though to see the “welcome home” reception his former club gives him.
Prediction: Even though they are back at home, Cardross face a massive task. Werrimull opened their 2015 account with a win against the Lions in round 3 and haven’t really looked back since. Expect the trend to continue with Werrimull to run out easy winners by 50 points.
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(Photos supplied by Sunraysia Daily)