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Big changes for West

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

West Ruckman Matt Nelson will play an important role in today’s game. West Ruckman Matt Nelson will play an important role in today’s game.

By Mongrel Punt

West will field a vastly different team against South today as they look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat.

The Robins have made eight changes to the side that booted just two goals in their 53-point loss to North, with Christos, Harris, Teelow,

Rosewarn, Smith, Kickett, Perkins and Milne replacing Hodgins, Naden, Harvey, Grose, Hunt, White, Raven and King.

Christos and Harris will add some welcome speed and polish, while Kickett and Perkins should provide vital avenues to goal up forward.

Last week West Coach Dale Tonkin lamented his side’s inability to cope with pressure, and it is a problem that will have to be addressed if they hope to topple South today.

The Roos should be stung into action by last week’s surprise loss to Central and desperate to make amends.

Peters, Agius, Davidson, Higgins and S. O’Brien will come in to strengthen the South team, while Bird, Staker, Buchanan, Barker and Bracken go out.

The return of Higgins to the forward line should improve the Roos’ structure in the forward half, while Agius and O’Brien will add stability and run to the backline.

While West could take few positives out of their last game, South will be buoyed by the good opening form of Degoumois, Boland, Westley and Bird.

There is no doubt that the Robins have the personnel to compete with South, but they will have to match the Roos’ hunger and intensity.

South will be looking to make a fast start and erase last week’s disappointment, and if West can contain the Roos early they will greatly increase their chances of taking the points.

Spectators can expect a fierce contest from two sides eager to get some premiership points on the board.

But with last week’s defeat still fresh in their minds, it’s hard to see the Roos letting this one slip in front of the South faithful at the Alma Oval.

Prediction: South by 17 points.

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