Roos in fine form
Saturday, 21st June, 2014
By By Balldock
As we hit the half way mark of the 2014 season, it is only fitting we have a top of the table clash that will not only give us a outright league leader but it could well shape the remaining season for both sides.
For the winner, premiership favouritism will be the burden they will carry while the loser will have to work even harder to earn the right to have a week’s spell come September.
After opening the season with one win and two losses, the Roos have turned their season around with five straight wins and a healthy percentage to lead the competition.
While their two outings against North’s have resulted in one win apiece, for the Roos it is important to maintain that momentum.
The Bulldogs season started brightly with three wins to open the season but they have lost two of their last five which includes a loss to South’s the last time they met.
If the Bulldogs are going to push for the minor premiership, they must defeat the Roos today it is that simple.
The Roos have included Degoumios and Henderson, while they have lost Billings and Elliott, the Bulldogs have regained Clare, Garrick and
Grundy but they lose Dempster, Dalby and Raynor.
While both sides are far from full strength, patrons should still be treated to some great footy from two top sides.
The Roos will start this contest as favourites as their form warrants this tag.
The battle within will take place in the middle of the ground with the Roos going with Browne, Shapter, Purcell and Johns, all are fierce competitors who have the ability to win the hard ball and use it very well going forward and if they get plenty of space they can dominate a game.
The Bulldogs will match the Roos in the middle with their own quartet, with Pettitt, Johnson, Beavan and Kelly, like their opponents they to win the hard ball and they are prepared to run far and wide to create scoring chances for their side.
During the course of the game you can expect to see Westley and Davidson go through the middle while North’s will throw Howard and Reick into the middle at stages, these duels alone are worth the admission price today.
The Roos have kicked a 100 plus points each week in their five-game winning streak and that will win you most games in Broken Hill footy, and while it is debatable whether they can continue that this week, they will start with a very potent forward half.
Blacksell will relish the opportunity without Dempster, while Borlace will have the big job today. Schorn and Boland will also pose big problems if given too much latitude, while Bird will again be the key marking forward going into attack.
If the Bulldogs are to win this game they must contain the South forwards and restrict them on the scoreboard.
That means Clare, Garrick, Fenton must win the one-on-one contests and use it well coming from the back half.
The North forward half while not as potent, can still be effective on the day. Hobba last week was impressive on debut and while the task is tougher today, he can again play a important role along with Grundy and Hack as the key marking targets for the Bulldogs.
Howard on O’Brien looks to be a match up while Staker, Corey and Peters will look to start attack from that defensive half, still plenty of quality matchups around the ground to make this a interesting contest.
I don’t expect the margin to be too big in the end unless one side can break the game open, but in the end I expect the Roos to be too strong for the Bulldogs and they should finish the day as the League Leaders and take the tag as premiership favorites.
South by 15 points