West could cause upset
Saturday, 16th May, 2015
By Patrick Reincke
After weeks of Alma and Jube football, the leviathan that is the Memorial Oval will have its time in the sun when it hosts the hotly anticipated matchup of West and Central.
Playing at home for the first time this season, the Magpies will not want to disappoint their home fans and will hope to bounce back after falling to North last week.
The Robins on the other hand, despite losing by a whopping 160 points against the reigning premiers, showed some good signs that if implemented well, could cause an upset.
Their tackling pressure was strong and their defensive posture was commendable in the face of an overwhelming South attack.
Jordan Tonkin played a vital role off the half back line but sadly is unavailable for this weekend’s game.
If the Robins can keep up the pressure over four quarters and execute effectively going forward, hold on to your hats because West may jag their first win today.
That being said, Central only have to one victory for the season (Anzac day over West) and the last thing they’ll want is to be locked in a battle for third with the Robins.
Two big outs for Central are Jay Carapellotti and James Bressanelli but they will be replaced with the likes of Patrick Nash, Cohen Turner and Liam King.
Brett Martin still remains West’s best avenue to goals but the return of Clint Pearce will give the Robins another good target up forward.
Keta Balchin will be pleased to see King and Turner with the three forwards now set to give plenty of headaches to the West defense.
Ben Perkins played up forward and down back last week but may find himself playing more the defensive style of footy with Josh Cieslik, Judd Carpenter and Josh Sheargold likely to drop back also.
The midfield part of the game will be evenly matched with both sides boasting some solid on-ballers.
Alexander Page, Justin Heath, Jake Hodgins and Luke Neal are all quality midfielders and wingers for Central with West also sporting some great names.
Tom Kickett, Daniel Milne, Dylan Cowan and Brett Martin are all capable of matching it with Central and the battle for midfield supremacy is going to be tough.
Milne has been one of the top performers for the Robins this year and will need to play an outstanding game and lead by example this afternoon.
I could talk about the sides all day - about whose forward line is stronger, whose backline is most sound, whose midfield is the more talented. But to summarise, it’s going to be a tight game between two teams desperate for a win.
West want their first to draw even with Central, Central want their second to steer clear of West.
I predicted a draw the last time these two teams met and it wasn’t that far off.
West by 4
INS - L. King, C. Turner, P. Nash, J. Page, J. McInnes
OUTS- M. Muscat, C. Martin, J. Bressanelli, J. Carapellotti, W. Eatts
INS - C. Pearce, R. Howell, l. Raven, C. Rosewarn
OUTS - J. Tonkin, J. Meehan, T. Rowe, B. King
Head to Head in 2015: Central 1 - West 0
Last Start: Central 5.7 (37) def West 4.7 (31)