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Roos look to hold on to winning streak

Saturday, 16th May, 2015

North will need a big contribution today from Billings and his fellow forwards if they hope to topple South. North will need a big contribution today from Billings and his fellow forwards if they hope to topple South.

By Balldock

The top of the table Roos travel to the Jubilee Oval today to do battle with the Bulldogs. 

The Roos will enter this game with the knowledge that they have beaten the Bulldogs in their past seven encounters which, I suppose, counts for nothing today.

But it is a trend the Roos would love to extend on - the Bulldogs on the other hand will be out to put a stop to the Roos’ winning run. 

Both sides have been forced to make multiple changes for today’s clash but it shouldn’t take anything away from the quality of game patrons can expect, with the Roos losing nothing from their inclusions.

Again, you get the feeling that the Bulldogs are going to be under the pump from this strong ruthless Roos outfit with a forward half that can demoralize a defensive back half.

The Roos today will start with Browne, Schorn, and Henderson inside forward 50 which could well be a dress rehearsal for next weekend.

They will be up against Borlace, Billings and Mitchell with height being the Bulldogs big problem.

Across half forward the Roos have Bird who will be the main target, while Davidson and Degoumois will do the work at ground level as well as the run and carry inside 50.

The Bulldogs will go with Garrick, Reynolds and Ragenovich - a better match up for the Bulldogs but they cannot afford to give the forwards any space.

Up at the other end it looks to be a much tighter contest with North going with experience in an effort to kick a winning score.

 I would imagine that the rucks will change in a pocket to a have tall marking presence inside 50 with Pettitt named in the pocket alongside Johnson and Richards.

Meanwhile Howard, Kelly and Henderson will be used across half forward while drifting inside 50 to kick important goals.

The Roos’ back half has been brilliant in the opening five rounds in only conceding 105 points at 21 points per game.

So one would expect that Paull, Peters and Pollard will be again giving nothing away on the last line while O’Brien, Blacksell and Riley Schorn will be ruthless across the half back line.

The all important match-ups in the middle look to be the most interesting with both sides going for a little grunt in the middle.

The Roos will start with Shapter, Purcell and Johns in the square, while the Bulldogs will go with Morgan, Thompson and Watson.

This shapes as a fantastic battle not only in the middle, but also around the ground at the stoppages with the importance again on first hands on the footy and disposal from the congestion.

The battles on the outsides will also have a huge bearing on the outcome with Gepp and Agius up against Cumming and Slater.

All have good defensive skills with the capability to run and carry the footy and be very dangerous going forward.

On paper it looks to be a very close contest but we are now accustomed to this very slick South line-up.

Try as the Bulldogs will, I feel that in the end the Roos will be to good on the day and they should make it win number 22 in a row for the Southerners.

South by 20 points. 

Last Start  -  South 7.6=48  def  North 1.6=12
Head to Head  -  South 1 - North 0
Jubilee Oval 2.30pm 

INS  -  J. Peters, T. Blacksell, M. Henderson, C. Shorn, T. Billings
OUT  -  M. Westley, C. Caldwell, T. Boland, A. Mackiewicz 

INS  -  M. Richards, J. Watson, N. Rayner, A. Gillespie, T. Tidball, J. Harwood, A. Galea
OUT  -  B. Oldsen, J. Vella, J. Jones, S. Dalby, A. Richards, T. Barraclough, K. Ellis

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