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West look to leaders

Saturday, 14th May, 2016

Marc Purcell is back in the red and white this week after co-captaining the Broken Hill team in the Miner’s Cup last Sunday. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke Marc Purcell is back in the red and white this week after co-captaining the Broken Hill team in the Miner’s Cup last Sunday. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke

By Michael Murphy

West Coach Peter Larkins will look to his leadership team this afternoon to help lift the Westies against a formidable South line-up at the Alma Oval.

The Roo machine looks set to continue its utter dominance of the AFLBH this afternoon.

They have won all their four matches this year by more than ten goals - they beat North in round one by 64 points, West in round two by 61 points, Central in round three by 88 points, and North again in round four by 73 points.

Perhaps the only goal left for the slick outfit is to clock up a 100 point win before they take the silverware at the end of the season.

West on the other hand, had a great start to the season and pulverised Central by 79 points in the first round, but although very competitive in their last two outings, they haven’t notched up a win since.

But the Robins welcome back two guns up forward today.

Nathan Kickett has been selected in the seniors for the first time this year.

“He had a bit of an injury and fitness to work on, he has just worked his way back in,” said coach Peter Larkins.

“He played a couple of games in the reserves and had a rest through the Miner’s Cup over the week we had off.

“In his games this year, he has performed well, so he will add a bit of experience to the side.”

The other big gun back for the Robins is Robbie Bates, who’ll play full forward.

Robbie has kicked two bags of goals this year, four each against North and Central, and he will provide the Robins with a great target in front of the big sticks.

Coach Larkins travelled across from the Western Australia this year and breathed new life into See Park.

He’s a 350-game veteran from leagues across NSW, Victoria and WA, and previously coached Boddington in WA’s Upper Great Southern league.

He was pragmatic about his team’s performance this year.

“We have been competitive in all games, we have lost our last two games by 22 or 24 points, our turnovers have hurt us,” he said.

“Obviously South are the benchmark in the competition, I think we just need to play high pressure football for four quarters.

“We need a good spread, but we will look to our leadership team of Jordan Tonkin, Brett Martin and Allan Mackiewicz to really lift.”

The South line-up remains largely unchanged from a fortnight ago.

Into the side comes Mitchell Henderson (who was a late withdrawal last match), Ben Degoumois (work commitments), and Michael Westley (back from a hamstring injury). 

Out goes Dylan Browne (work commitments), Bryce Pollard (who was a late inclusion last game - shoulder injury) and Alex Johnston.

The Robins will fare better than their round two encounter with the Roos, but have a way to go before they match the mighty Red and White.

South by 30 points.

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