Reversal of fortunes
Saturday, 26th May, 2012
Last start winners West and Central will go head to head today at League Headquarters. The expectations are enormous after both clubs recorded sensational victories last weekend.
In fact, it hasn’t been since round 10 last year that these sides have meet as last start winners.
The reward today is sole possession of third place on the premiership ladder and the wins couldn’t have come at a better time for both sides.
They went into round six with one win apiece and the prospects were a little dim, but in the space of a week the competition is alive.
That’s what makes this game so important to both sides; it will be back to back wins for one of them which is something they haven’t achieved for a while.
The Robins have to go back to rounds 9 and 10 last year for consecutive wins, while the Magpies have to go back to 2010.
This is a must win for both and this should bring out the best in both sides today.
The Robins welcome back Ryan, Raven, Rose, Balchin and Withers. They have omitted Martin, McInerney, King, McInnes and Matten.
The Magpies have made just one change with Gilby making way for Mannion.
The centre square match ups will again play an important role, with Milne, Agius and Blore going against Paull, Heath and Christie
All of those players play the game hard and with Blore and Christie in pretty good form, they will all feed of their respective ruckmen.
With Nelson doing battle with Beven it should be a great battle, not only in the square but around the ground.
Both sides were very good last week at the stoppages and again today it will be important to get first use of the footy.
West’s Nathan Kickett was the standout last week and they would love a similar result today.
The Robins’ disposal was excellent and a repeat would go a long way towards a win.
West will also look towards Smith, Harris and Pettitt to share the work load and get amongst the goals.
The Robins on paper look to have plenty of options going forward.
The Magpies are in similar position with Schinckel the key across half forward with promising juniors Pearce, White, Hunt and Jenkins all dangerous inside forward 50.
You have to feel for the back halves of both sides today as they will be under enormous pressure - any lapse in concentration and the game could be broken wide open in the matter of minutes.
The Magpies look impressive across half back and the full back line isn’t shabby at all. There’s plenty of experience which will be vital today.
After last week, the Robins will be full of confidence with the knowledge they can mix it with anybody and the inclusion of Rose will give them some added run from half back.
It’s been a while since these two sides have stirred the emotions of their supporters, but when they come face to face one of them will take the next step today.
It is a toss of the coin decision - that’s how close they are.
Hopefully both sides’ supporters will come down and witness what promises to be a great contest.
After watching the Robins destroy North last week I will go with the Robins to grab their third win of the 2012 season in a nailbiter.