Youngsters on show
Saturday, 17th May, 2014
Last start losers North and Central are set to face off at League Headquarters today after both sides suffered embarrassing defeats last week.
The Magpies put in a dismal performance and it is fair to say they haven’t found the form they produced in round one, while the Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season after having control of the game.
The Bulldogs welcome back six senior players this week including Ragenovich, who makes his debut.
The Magpies have made five changes for today’s contest.
The Bulldogs will enter this game with a midfield that is in pretty good touch with Kelly, Beavan and Richards consistently finding plenty of the footy.
If they go unchecked again today, they will set up a North win.
The Magpies must nullify the influence the North midfielders have, meaning Cox, Anderson and McClure must be defensive when North have the ball.
However, they must be attacking when the time is right and hard working in the middle and at the stoppages.
Barraclough showed last week he is a pretty good prospect and with Rayner sharing the ruck duties it should be a good duel with Schinkel and Lawrence in the middle and around the ground.
The Bulldogs also look to have an advantage up forward with Dalby, Grundy and Rayner providing the height avenues to goal while Howard,
Burton and Mannion should give the Bulldogs plenty at ground level.
The Magpies will need to get a 100% effort from their back half.
Berg, Bevan and Paull have been in good touch but they will need support today from Masclet and White, working together and filling the holes in the North forward half.
Alex Bray has been the standout forward for the Magpies in the opening rounds and again he will be the vocal point when the Magpies go forward.
If he can work hard and create chances he could have a big say in the outcome, but if he doesn’t work hard then Dempster will cut him to pieces.
Apart from last week I have been impressed with Quinn and Martin.
They roam far and wide to create opportunities and with Jelbert and Nash, the Magpies’ front half looks pretty good.
Again it will come down to work rate of the forwards and the quality of footy that comes from the midfield.
If they don’t hit targets then Fenton, Clare and the Borlace boys will have a field day sending the ball back over their heads.
Both sides have plenty of experience in their line-ups but it is the juniors that have the supporters excited and what the future holds.
The Magpies have Turner and Martin who have been impressive and you can throw in Nash, Bressanelli, White and Muscat, while Jenkin has been around for a couple of years now.
Although the fruit is not ripe just yet it is maturing.
The Bulldogs are in a similar position with Slater, who has been excellent, and Barraclough, Ellis, Ruddock and Ragenovich.
They hold the future in their hands and supporters should get out a witness the growth of these rising stars.
All in all the Bulldogs should be too strong for the Magpies.
Central need to find that pressure game they showed in the opening rounds.
At the moment it has gone missing and the Bulldogs will capitalize on that and claim the four points on offer today.
North by 20 points.