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Magpies must show some fight

Saturday, 10th August, 2013

The return of West’s Matt Nelson will give the Robins a boost in today’s clash with Central at the Jubilee Oval. The return of West’s Matt Nelson will give the Robins a boost in today’s clash with Central at the Jubilee Oval.

By By Balldock

In the final battle of the birds at League headquarters today both sides have something to prove.


The Magpies have to show their supporters that the future is bright with a talented group of juniors who are getting valuable game time, while the Robins have to show the general public that they are a genuine finals contender as they have only registered two wins in their past seven games.


Some might argue that resting players or rotating players in the final weeks of competition could hurt the Robins come September. Sometimes it is necessary. Only time will tell.


The Robins have included some big names for today’s clash. Smith, who has played predominately down back in 2013, finds himself in the goal square as the main target.

He will be partnered by Milne across half forward. Milne’s see-ball get-ball approach is a huge bonus for the Robins inside forward 50. Throw in Tonkin and McInerney inside the forward half and the Robins have plenty of scoring options.

The Magpies will have to produce something better than last week. Quinn and Lawrence will be the tall defenders and they will need support from Gilby, Muscat and Roberts if they are to keep the Robins to a losing score. 

If Central are going to cause an upset they must get more out of White, Balchin and Bressanelli inside forward 50. Six goals between them doesn’t give me a lot of confidence.

Morrison and Randall are two players who can get the ball but, again, can they kick a winning score for the Magpies? Camilleri is the class act. He will probably be needed to play a number of roles today.

The Robins look to be pretty solid in the back half with Zanette and Conway starting in the key defensive roles, while Rose and Teelow will give support to Thompson and Ellis playing their second games for the Robins.

Across the middle is a great duel with Harris up against Anderson, the latter having a excellent year for the Magpies.

The Robins have been strengthened by the return of Nelson and his battle with Beven could well decide the outcome. On paper the Magpies look a little stronger in the middle with Heath and Paull against Kickett and Martin.

First use of the ball will be very important, not only from the middle but also around the ground and that’s where Heath is at his best. A big job awaits the Robin assigned to curb Heath’s influence.

The Robins are preparing for finals so will they go all out today, or just do enough to win? As we all know, intensity is everything at every contest, so how will the Robins approach this game?

The Magpies have nothing to lose but they will have to improve. They looked done and dusted last week with very little commitment once the contest was gone.

Can they give their supporters three weeks of football to take into next year or are the shutters already down?

I think the Robins will start hard and try and dominate the game early. After the break you can expect the foot to be taken off the throttle, but by then the Magpies will be done for another day.

The Robins should win this contest and prepare for the next week. West by 25 points.

Jubilee Oval: 2.30pm.

Head to Head: West 4, Central 1.

Last start: West 9.18 (72) def Central 5.6 (36).

Form Guide: West LWLL, Central LLLL.

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