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Old rivals face off

Saturday, 25th April, 2015

Speedster Anthony Henderson will provide some run for the Bulldogs. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel Speedster Anthony Henderson will provide some run for the Bulldogs. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

By Balldock

Can you think of a better way to celebrate the proud history of the Anzacs than have our own arch enemies go head to head on this special day?

At 3.30pm today the long-standing rivalry between North and South will continue with top spot as the prize.

While there will be no trenches or bullets flying overhead, the nature of this rivalry will make for an explosive contest, and the players will be asked to put their bodies on the line.

This fierce competition goes back many years when a tram was used to transport people from one side of town to the other and it took a brave man to try to date a girl from over the hill.

Since 1990 these two sides have met on 172 occasions with North winning 90 times, the Roos 81 and a draw in 1993.

They have played 14 grand finals during that period, and today they get the opportunity to wage or continue their own private battles in their quest for bragging rights and top spot.

Both sides will go into this game with match-winning forward halves.

The Roos welcome back the League’s best forward, Cody Schorn, after a seven-goal haul in week one. He will partner Henderson and Shapter inside forward 50 while Mackiewicz, Blacksell and Degoumois will look to create scoring options from across half forward.

The Bulldogs lack a little height up forward but they do have fleet of foot forwards who have shown they are dangerous around goal - Henderson, Slater and Mannion - while Dalby will be the marking target for the Bulldogs.

The duel in the middle will see the city’s best go head to head with some match ups going a long way in deciding today’s outcome.

The Roos will start with Purcell, Lines and Johns with Shapter, and Westley will rotate through the middle.

The Bulldogs will start with Howard, Morgan and Kelly with Thompson and Ruddock slipping into the middle at stages of the game. The only question is; will the Roos go with a tag on one or two of the North midfielders?

But being only round three I think both sides will just go with all-out attack. It will be intriguing and enthralling to watch. 

The ruck duel is also of great interest with Browne and Billings to share the load for the Roos. They will be up against Pettitt and Rayner. With such potent midfields, first hands on the footy will so much more important today. 

The big plus for the Roos is that Browne can play down back, up forward or in the ruck and he can have a huge influence wherever he plays.

Defensively, the Roos have the advantage, starting with a combined side half back line which is both attacking and defensively very good. You can throw in Schorn and Paull for good measure.

The Bulldogs will rely on Dempster to have a good day but he will need support from Fenton and Barraclough in the aerial contest, while Garrick and Borlace must be able to run and carry the ball from half back into forward movements.

After what we have seen in the opening two rounds this game promises to be the best - two very good sides giving their all in true Anzac spirit.

The Roos are going for seven straight against the Bulldogs and I think they will prevail and claim outright top spot.

South by 13 points.

 

South
IN - A. Mackiewicz, C. Schorn, T. Billings, J. Peters, T. Blacksell.
OUT - N. Agius, J. Holmes, W. Gepp, S. Edgecumbe, A. Crombie.

North
IN - N. Raynor, B. Mannion, M. Dempster, K. Ellis.
OUT - J. Jones, T. Tidball, B. Oldsen, S. Mateer.

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