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Robins need a lift

Thursday, 1st June, 2017

Matt Nelson will be important today in the ruck for West if they are to compete with South. PICTURE: Michael Murphy Matt Nelson will be important today in the ruck for West if they are to compete with South. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Tyler Hannigan

Last time they met: 

 

SOUTH: 23.14- 152

def

WEST: 4.1- 25

 

South thumped the Robins in round eight to the tune of 127 points at the Alma Oval. Nick Agius was the stand out that day with five goals while Marc Purcell and Mitch Henderson continued their great seasons with good performances. Matt Nelson was West’s best on a tough day where they had just five scoring shots and didn’t score a goal until the third term.

 

Recent form: 

 

West: LLLWL

The Robins were brought back to Earth after their season-saving win against Central by way of a 74-point loss to North last week. North dominated from the opening quarter although West did enjoy a more competitive second half where they kicked seven goals to nine. Mackenzie Attard played his best game of League football, kicking four goals and marking well while Ty Andrews was great in defence.

South: LWWWW

South comfortably handled the Magpies last week thanks to a massive 10-goal third quarter. Todd Davidson was brilliant while Dylan Browne and Connor Washbrook each kicked four goals. South has bounced back in a big way after their loss to North in round six with big wins over West and Central as well as a tight 12-point victory against North to claim top spot on the ladder.  

 

Ins and Outs: 

 

West

IN: P. Attard, T. Bates, D. McLauchlan-Menz, T. Kickett, B. Harvey

OUT: L. Kooyman, C. Pearce, T. Nicholson, D. Blight, D. Morgan

Juniors Paddric Attard, Tyler Bates and Danyon McLauchlan-Menz all come into the side with Bates making his League debut and Attard playing his first League game for 2017. All three have been in great form in the under 18 competition for the Robins. Experienced players Tom Kickett and Bobby Harvey also return to the lineup.

Clint Pearce is out as part of his four-game suspension after last weekend’s game with North. Big man Luke Kooyman is out as are Tim Nicholson, Darcy Blight and Dwayne Morgan.

 

South

IN: J. Johns, D. Hardy, M. Henderson, A. Bird, B. Pollard, T. Boland, J. Bird

OUT: C. Washbrook, S. Edgecumbe, T. McKenzie, J. Holmes, W. Gepp, J. Gepp, M. Paul

Jordan Johns, Drew Hardy and Arlen Bird all return after missing last week with work commitments while reserves players Bryce Pollard, Tyson Boland and Jack Bird get their chance to impress and cement a spot in the League side. Ruckman Mitch Henderson also returns after serving a one-week suspension.

Young guns Connor Washbrook, Sam Edgecumbe and Tyler McKenzie are all out of today’s clash as are Wade and Jake Gepp along with utility Madden Paul.

 

Key players: 

 

Ty Andrews (West) - Andrews is having a super consistent year down back for the Robins and was arguably their best last week against North. Being a defender for a struggling team means you’re going to see plenty of the ball but Andrews handles it well and provides excellent rebound off the half-forward line whilst also being able to shut down opponents of varying size.

Arlen Bird (South)- One of the South mainstays and most consistent performers over the past few years, Bird has strong hands and makes good decisions with ball in hand. His kicking style may not be textbook but it rarely lets him down and he’s usually good for 1-2 goals per game. Plays more up the ground but did kick four goals against Central a few weeks back. 

 

What we can expect: 

 

This unfortunately looks like a foregone conclusion for South as they have most of their big guns in and West are fielding eight juniors. However, South cannot get complacent as they did against Central in the second quarter last week otherwise West will pounce. 

What is promising for the Robins is how some of those juniors are coming along. Sage Hocking, Jayden Sutton and Jake Trengove have all been very impressive this year while Brock Ellis is getting better with each outing. Now Bates, Attard and McLauchlan-Menz get their chance at senior level and this can only be a good thing for West moving forward.

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