Top two lock horns
Saturday, 24th May, 2014
It has taken six rounds of footy but we finally have a blockbuster and what a game it promises to be.
North travels over the hill on top of the ladder but whether they return as league leaders depends on their ability to nullify South’s prime movers.
The Roos go into this game in red hot form kicking 56 goals in the past two weeks; could it be a case of the side finally catching up with the hype?
South have turned their season around in a matter of weeks mainly due to their options going forward.
They now boast a forward half that is second to none with Blacksell and Boland the key targets inside 50 - both are capable of kicking multiple goals.
You can throw in Henderson and Bird, who is relishing his time up forward, and the small forwards like Schorn and Gepp.
They are the reason why they have 34 more goals than the first placed side.
It is certainly a solid combination and it doesn’t get any better with the inclusion of Cody Schorn this week.
The Bulldogs are going to be under the pump in their back half and will need big games from Dempster, Clare, Fenton and Borlace if they are to keep the scoring to a minimal.
Scoring opportunities for both sides will come from the middle.
The Roos will start with Johns, Peters and Purcell.
All three run hard all day and they can create many scoring chances with their run and carry.
Again that final disposal is the critical final link in a team’s hard work.
The Bulldogs will go with Kelly, Morgan and Richards in the middle.
Like their counterparts, they continue to run and work hard around the ground and again disposal is the final ingredient in kicking a winning score.
Both sides have the luxury of being able to run players through the middle of the ground at any given time which will make for some exciting duels which could determine the outcome of this contest.
The North forward half will need to make the most of its opportunities.
They will need Dalby and Hack to do a power of work inside forward 50 as they will be the key marking targets and once the ball hits the ground the likes of Slater, Burton and Cumming should be all over the contest.
The Roos back half will also need to work at restricting the North forwards.
Staker and O’Brien are very good at stopping an opponent while being attacking from their defensive half as well, while Paull, Corey and Barrie must play their role and give nothing away.
If they get too loose it could open the door for the Bulldogs.
While both sides are missing some key personnel this should still be a great game of footy.
Both sides like to play a similar brand of exciting football which should make it a great spectacle.
The Roos on their home ground and in the sought of form they are in at the moment are going to be hard to beat and I think they will collect the premiership points on offer today at Alma Oval.
South by 17 points
IN: Cody Schorn, Ty Corey, Kyle Barrie, Simon O’Brien, Casey Paull, Jake Peters, Riley Schorn
OUT: Arlen Bird, Todd Shapter, Dustin Stephens, Riley Elliott, Sam Lines, Bill Dolan
IN: Dylan Harris, Brett Johnson, Tobais Hack, Chad Spangler, Eddy Morgan, Isacc Cumming (Debut)
OUT: Zac Borlace, Tom Ragenovich, Trent Barraclough, Aiden Pettitt, Kale Grundy, Brad Mannion
Alma Oval, 2.30 pm
Head to Head: North 1 - South 0
Last Start: North 11.8 (74) def. South 10.10 (70)