Saturday, 6th May, 2017
By By Tyler Hannigan
An under-strength and under-sized South team travel to the Jube today to take on a West team desperate to kick-start their season.
South’s usually plentiful big man stocks are down today with the likes of Dylan Browne, Mitch Henderson and Wade Gepp all missing, leaving the sole ruck duties to Jordan Holmes.
Also out from last week’s demolition of Central are Jake Peters, Drew Hardy and Jake Gepp while Cody Schorn, who was a late out before last weekend’s game, is set to return.
Joining Schorn in the inclusions are promising junior Connor Washbrook, the experienced pair of Tyson Boland and Nathan Agius, and Anthony Crombie who will make his League debut.
The Roos’ 85-point win over Central was headlined by Matt Reavill’s five-goal haul in just his second game in Broken Hill while Marc ‘Nugget’ Purcell was back to his brilliant best in the midfield.
West started well last week, hanging with North in the opening quarter but lost any control of the game over the second and third terms before trying to limit the damage in the last by pushing players behind the ball.
Liam King was the Robins’ best on ground in the 56-point defeat while Brett Martin battled hard up forward to kick three goals.
Ben McInerney makes his return to League football, adding much needed experience to West’s lineup. Nathan Kickett, Bobby Harvey, Brock Ellis, Luke Kooyman and Agnaldo de Silva have also been selected.
Tim Nicholson, Danyon McLauchlan-Menz, Jack Burke, Sage Hocking, Leighton Raven and Max Everuss are out from last weekend’s side.
West last took on South back in round two with South recording a dominant 97-point win. Cody Schorn enjoyed a day out with nine goals while Washbrook chimed in with five. Cowen Smith kicked three out of West’s five goals.
With the personnel missing from South’s team today, this looms as West’s best chance to take it up to the ladder leaders. The Roos’ big men advantage has been taken away and they’ve also lost some run with Jake Gepp and Marcus O’Brien missing.
Such is the class of South’s team and coaching though, they will realise their limitations and lower their eyes to hit up the leads of Reavill and Schorn and while the run might not be as prevalent today, it might just mean that plays will require a slower build up.
That’s where West needs to pounce though. They must pressure South and attack the ball at every chance, particularly against South’s young and inexperienced defence. This could open up scoring opportunities and scoreboard pressure is the best kind of pressure.
King and Bell who have been in top form to start 2017 will again need to play well in the middle against the premier midfield in the competition while the ruck battle between Jordan Holmes and Matt Nelson will be worth the price of admission alone.
South remain favourites due to how well they are drilled as a club but given this is one of the most inexperienced sides they’ve named, West will feel in with a chance of causing a massive upset.