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Nhill looks to upset Ararat in Wimmera clash

ROOS NEED TO REBOUND: Eagle Aaron Watts lays a strong tackle on Saints Thomas Pain. Pictures: WILLAMY IMAGES

ROOS NEED TO REBOUND: Eagle Aaron Watts lays a strong tackle on Saints Thomas Pain. Pictures: WILLAMY IMAGES


There is a belief that one of the hardest road trips in Wimmera Football League is the Western Highway trek between Ararat and Nhill.

Regardless of where respective teams sit on a ladder, the two-hour journey has a habit of dismantling either the travelling team or luring the home side into a false sense of security.

The league’s history involving the two camps is littered with road-trip disasters for fancied teams of the time and a rapidly improving Nhill will hope the anomaly continues this Saturday.

Fourth-placed Ararat, with little need to consolidate anything except form, takes on the seventh-placed Tigers who have everything to gain by forcing an upset at home at Davis Park.

Nhill has had a mixed month of results and, apart from a heavy loss to Horsham, has played like a team that is developing a refreshing sense of self-belief.

The Tigers were predictably solid winners over Warrack Eagles last outing and before that snatched the points against fellow fringe-dwelling challenger Stawell.

But are they good enough to beat the Rats? If they did, it would be a result that would ignite a serious fire on the edge of the five.

Stawell, of course, did Nhill as well as itself a huge favour by bowling over Dimboola last week.

The Warriors’ win elevated them into the five ahead of the Roos and Tigers by percentage.

But Stawell would now, in the second half of the split round, be contemplating the almost unthinkable – barracking for its arch enemy Ararat to allow the status quo to remain.

Saturday’s contest between the Tigers and Rats will be a beauty.Ararat should have too much tall timber and key-position firepower but the Tigers have shown serious grit after early-season setbacks and disappointments.

Nhill has proven it can kick goals against similar or lesser opponents but its forwards have found it tough to kick their way into a position to create scoreboard pressure against yardstick teams.

In Nhill’s last game, against the Eagles, there was no shortage of players lining up to kick goals.

Jake Harrup kicked a handful and Jordan Zeitz, Lachlan Pratt, Nathan Sachse and Mitch Taht also joined in double-figure spoils.

On the same weekend, Ararat struggled to find goal-kickers in what was ultimately a heavy loss to Minyip-Murtoa.


Ararat team leaders will be well aware of the potential intensity of the Nhill challenge and are sure to ask the likes of strong Justin Summons, Gordon Laurie, Liam Cavanagh and Xavier Vearing to stamp their influence on the game.

Jack Ganley, who has featured in his club’s best six for the past five games, is sure to enjoy the contest while the likes of Al Batchelor, Aaron Searle, Sam Shalders and co mix it through the lines.

Comparative team lists suggest Ararat should win and the visitors will get across the line – but only just.

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Posted on Jul 30 2015

Posted by on Jul 30 2015. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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