THE finals aspirations of two of the Golden Rivers Football League’s top six teams could take another twist tomorrow at Murrabit.
Nanjing Night Net

The second-placed Blues and sixth-placed Macorna will meet in a round 12 encounter that will have ramifications on the six sides battling for a finals berth.

Although two wins separate the sides, Murrabit holds a significant percentage advantage over their fellow Kerang district rivals.

The Blues overcame a determined Moulamein outfit last weekend to win by 47 points, whilst Macorna defeated Wandella by 16 points.

The Tigers have roared back into the finals equation with their win against the Bombers, with the return of coach, Wayne Mitrovic a key factor.

The utility will spend the day in the back half of the ground aiming to stop Murrabit coach, Nathan Henry from dominating.

Jordan Simpson will also assist in stopping Patrick Cummins and Brett McCombe, but the Tigers’ defensive options took a blow last weekend after captain, Liam Roberts suffered a broken jaw.

Brad and Matt Ladson will provide drive through the middle of the ground for the visitors, with Simon Morton and Bryden Morison to lead Murrabit’s key playmakers.

The ruck duel between Murrabit’s Andrew Spitty and Macorna’s Luke Spalding will be critical to the result, whilst Dylan Morison and Simon Ettershank will try to stop Brett O’Hanlon and Brett Collins from controlling proceedings in the visitors’ forward 50.

Murrabit won by 79 points when these sides met in round five, but a much closer result is certain tomorrow.

PREDICTION: Murrabit will hold on for a 12-point win.

Bombers’ big trip

IN the second of the weekend’s matches that feature must-win scenarios for both sides involved, competition leaders, Wandella travel to Hay in a critical match.

The Bombers went down to Macorna by 16 points last weekend, whilst the Lions remain one win off fourth spot following a 36-point victory at Quambatook.

Wandella will remain on top of the ladder if it wins its second consecutive game against the Lions, whilst the Lions will be two wins off fourth spot with Nullawil certain to defeat the winless Moulamein.

A Hay win will leave the side fifth with four rounds remaining, whilst the Bombers could drop as low as third if both Murrabit and Ultima win.

The Lions will be boosted with the return of ruckman Tim Hanna, who was one of Victoria Country’s best players in Sunday’s 44-point win against the Victorian Amateur Football Association in an under 19s representative match.

Hanna’s battle with Dylan McGrath, Brodey Farley and Ricky Cathie will be critical to the result, with Michael Dedini (Hay) and Daniel Baker (Wandella) to duel in the middle of the ground.

Hay coach, Simon Bunyan will take on the role of stopping Paul Grayling from dominating in front of the visitors’ goals, with Jackson Ferguson to duel with former Wandella coach, Blake Anderson.

Nick Farley will be given the role of stopping Hay forward, Ricki Waters, with Matt Wilkinson to go to fellow Lions spearhead, Taylor Williamson.

Wandella won by 72 points when these teams met in round five, but the margin will be much closer tomorrow.

PREDICTION: Wandella will win by 20 points.

Premiers to benefit

ULTIMA could benefit from the outcome of matches at Murrabit and Hay if the two-time reigning premiers defeat Quambatook tomorrow.

Level with the Blues and Wandella on eight wins this season, Jack O’Rourke’s men could be one step closer to securing the double chance.

Ultima will look to bounce back following last weekend’s 23-point loss to Nullawil, whilst Quambatook challenged Hay in its 36-point defeat.

The Saints have the capabilities to push the ‘Roos again tomorrow, like they did in their 16-point loss in round five in the first of the grand final re-matches slated for 2016, but will need things to go their way to produce an upset win.

The duel between Quambatook captain, Gregor Knight and Ultima playmaker, Jacob Schaper in the middle of the ground will be a highlight for those watching the encounter, whilst Ash Davis will take on Basil Althouse in the visitors’ forward line if the spearhead plays.

Luke Kelson will resume his battle with Saints forward, Ricky Jochinke, who is holding the mantle as the club’s key forward after James Lloyd suffered a season-ending shoulder injury before the school holiday bye, whilst Luke O’Toole will be prolific in rebounding the ball across Ultima’s half-back line if given the chance to.

PREDICTION: Ultima will win by 30 points.

Maroons’ run to continue

NULLAWIL will aim to add to its mid-season charge with a win against Moulamein tomorrow.

The Maroons sit fourth on the ladder thanks to victories in its past three games, and a win tomorrow against the eighth-placed Swans will provide the club with momentum before three consecutive games against sides in the top six.

Moulamein will look to end a 31-match losing streak, which will extend to two seasons worth of matches with a defeat tomorrow.

The Swans go into the match with added confidence following last weekend’s performance that saw the New South Wales-based team challenge Murrabit up to midway through the third quarter before going down by 47 points.

If Brendan Blackmore, Ben Booth and Austin Mertz play as well as they did last weekend tomorrow, the Maroons’ three-game winning streak could be in danger.

Tony Mudge will need to stop Kal Heslop from dominating in front of the home team’s goal, with Booth to go to Nullawil centre half-forward, Andrew Oberdorfer.

Mertz and Xavia Elford will take on Daniel Watts and Scott Mathiske in the midfield, with Jarrod Kemp the key to stopping Blackmore from roving goalkicking opportunities in the Swans’ forward line.

Nullawil holds a 15-match winning streak against the Swans, with the Maroons prevailing by 30 points back in round five.

PREDICTION: Nullawil will win by 50 points.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.