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Round two for Robins and Roos

Saturday, 12th May, 2012

SOLID: Talented backman Simon O’Brien makes a welcome return to South today after being out injured. SOLID: Talented backman Simon O’Brien makes a welcome return to South today after being out injured.

By Balldock

The Jubilee Oval will play host to the much-anticipated rematch between West and South today.

After their thrilling round two clash patrons have reason to be excited at the prospect of another close encounter. 

Unfortunately the makeup of both sides has changed dramatically and the anticipation could well turn to anguish in a very short time. 

The Robins have been severely damaged by the unavailability of several key players and the Roos welcome back some key personnel. 

South have included Boland, Corey, O’Brien, Westley, Pettitt, Davidson, Schorn and Barrie. Out of the South side go Paul, Hall, Fennessy, Philp, Neal, Jones, Anderson and Staker.

While the Roos are yet to field their best 22 at one time, the depth at the club is extraordinary and every week they are capable of fielding a team that can win and win well.

Looking at today’s side it is again capable of winning. Their forward half looks pretty solid with Corey across half forward and the height of Boland in the square. They also have the luxury of resting Higgins up forward as another tall and throw in Keenan, Caldwell and Jones, who are proven goalkickers at ground level, and it is a potent forward half.

Defensively the Robins must get on top early so Milne, Teelow and Conway across half back must be precise, relentless with their pressure and above all back themselves and attack at very opportunity.

Cynan Smith at full back should play like the quarter back and control the back five and be prepared to leave his man and back up his teammates when the chance arises. 

We know the South back unit will do all those things and they are willing to run and carry the footy to create forward thrusts. O’Brien and Bird can really hurt teams going the other way, while Paull showed he can be solid across half back and Elliott was excellent last week and Browne has been solid in the key defensive role,.

The Robins’ ball use when going forward could well determine the contest. They will get plenty of chances but hitting the target is paramount. Dalby is a good kick for goal - give him space and delivery. Blore will give a hard contest and apply plenty of forward pressure along with McInerney while Harris and Kickett could well be dangerous inside 50.

The Robins cannot afford a slow start and have to chase the Roos or the scoreboard and this can be achieved in the middle.

Nelson will give the Robins every chance of first use of the footy and that means Martin, Raven and McCunnie must match the intensity and aggression in the square while nullifying their opponents.

South will start Davidson and Westley in the centre along with Purcell who is having a sensational start to the season. All are hard at it players who use the ball well. Shailes is coming along nicely and he should provide a good contest in the ruck duel.

In the middle and around the ground it should be a great battle and it will go a long way in determining who will win this encounter. 

Only two points separated the two sides in their round two clash and I expect the scoreline to be again close but in the end I feel the Roos will be the winners in a very good game of local football.

South by 8 points

JUBILEE OVAL  2.30 pm

Head to Head - South 1 - West 0

Last start - South 13.13 (91) West 13.11 (89)

Last 3 weeks - South WWL , West LLL

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