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Improved West faces tough competition

Saturday, 16th April, 2016

Jake Gepp was a top performer for South last week and will be looking to continue his form in today’s game against West. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke Jake Gepp was a top performer for South last week and will be looking to continue his form in today’s game against West. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke

By Balldock

Round two today will be another Double Header at League Headquarters with the first game at 1.00pm - and what a start it should be.

The two last-start winners, South and West, are going head to head with outright top spot the prizes. 

The Roos go into this clash as favorites and rightly so because they are the reigning premier and a side that is looking for a “three peat” in 2016.

But they face a West side that is growing in confidence and belief under a new regime.

Both sides have been forced to make changes for this clash. The Roos have made four and the Robins six.

South started the season in impressive style last week led by a forward half that dominated on the scoreboard. While missing a couple of key talls today, their forward half still has enough firepower to cause the Robins’ back half some real problems. In saying that, the back six for the Robins last week was also very impressive.

The contest in the middle holds the key. The Roos are going with Johns and Purcell while the Robins could start with Mackiewicz and King. This centre square duel will be no place for the timid.

The ruck duel will also be interesting with Henderson getting the first crack at Nelson. If Henderson can match the new aggressive style of Nelson it will be a cracker from the first bounce.

The Robins will have to find another key forward. Cieslik was very good last week but he will need support inside forward 50 in the role of a key marking target. They have the ground level players can they take advantage of the loose ball, but it won’t be easy against a back half that has been virtually impregnable in recent years. A lot of South’s forward movements start from the back half.

The Robins have found it tough against the Roos in recent years. They haven’t defeated the Roos since round 9 in 2011. West, after starting the year on a positive note, will need a lot to go right today if they are to cause an upset.

They will need Mackiewicz, who playing against his old side for the first time today, to find plenty of the footy around the ground and players such as Tonkin and Martin to gather plenty of touches and be able to pinpoint players down field.

From the Roos, what can we expect? More of the same; quick ball movement into the forward half, and every player willing to attack from any position on the ground.

While I think the Robins will be beaten it will come down to how they are beaten. If they can maintain the commitment and desire they will be set to have a crack.

But the Roos are going to be hard to toss all year and I can see them making it two from two today.

South by 25pts.


In - B. Degoumois, C. Caldwell, J. Smith, A. Philp. 
Out - D. Browne, H. Cannard, J. Holmes, D. Stuart.

In - L. Raven, C. Smith, B. Harvey, A. Carey, J. Larkins, H. Grose.
Out - R. Bates, G. Conway, J. Harvey, B. King, D. Milne, J. White.

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