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WFL| Round 15: Horsham in the hunt for major scalp

PASS: Nhill’s Jake Harrap gets a handball away despite pressure from Horsham co-coach Brad Hartigan at the weekend. Picture: WILLAMY IMAGES

PASS: Nhill’s Jake Harrap gets a handball away despite pressure from Horsham co-coach Brad Hartigan at the weekend. Picture: WILLAMY IMAGES

By DEAN LAWSON
Horsham will steel itself to push for a critical late-season confidence boost when it takes on arch rival Horsham Saints in a big Wimmera Football League clash at Horsham City Oval on Saturday.
The Demons are coming off a commanding 89-point win over Nhill after disaster against Minyip-Murtoa the week before, and are now in desperate need of a major scalp before finals.
Regardless of what some coaches argue, psychology often plays a critical role in a countdown to the play-offs.
The young Horsham list’s failure to get even close to key rivals in the past month is sure to be playing on the mind of many in the camp.
Apart from last week’s solid win over the Tigers and success against Warrack Eagles, Horsham’s losing margins in the past month have been 52 points against the Burras, 74 points, Horsham Saints, and 87 points, Stawell.
That’s an average losing margin in the three games of 71 points – hardly what many would expect from the Demons.
Young team
What many are forgetting is that Horsham in 2016, while boasting a handful of stars, is also littered with a bevy of inexperienced players.
Names such as Joel Geue, who starred in his 200-milestone game, Simon Hobbs, Rhona Conboy, Ben Lakin, Darcy Taylor, Tyler Blake and coaches Nick Pekin and Brad Hartigan are familiar.
But many others are still trying to establish themselves as consistent senior players.
In last week’s win, veteran Luke Carr, Hobbs, Conboy, Sid Hernon and Ryan Kemp led the way.
The Saints’ record in the past five weeks is in stark contrast to Horsham and what is notable is the team has won every game since a hiccup loss to Nhill in round nine.
The Saints slogged their way to a home-game and victory in a low-scoring tester against Stawell last week, with mobile forward Jacob Cooke-Harrison further displaying his maturity as one of the league’s best players and running Sam Clyne and Sam Jasper continuing to shine.
The cold, wet and windy weather is testing bodies and minds across the competition and on Saturday it will again be the Saints who prevail as the side shores up second place on the ladder.
Rats no pushovers
The brains trust of competition leader Minyip-Murtoa will take a keen interest in the all-Horsham match, but can’t afford to lose concentration against Ararat at Murtoa.
Ararat is showing all the signs of a pre-finals spoiler and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Rats find themselves well in the game deep into the final quarter.
The visitors could also get blown out of the park, but a win over Dimboola last week would have continued to fuel confidence stores.
The Rats have won two in a row. It is amazing how much a little bit of self-belief can have on team.
In a 26-point victory over Dimboola last week, Ben Free, Jake Robinson, Liam Arnott and Taine Pearse won accolades, while Jack Ganley bagged five goals.
Critically, and what might put Ararat in good stead this Saturday, is the fact the Rats finished the contest with a seven-goal final term.
Minyip-Murtoa had to fight hard to earn its 19-point victory over Warrack Eagles, the tough going bringing experienced hard-yarders Justin Garth, Luke Chamberlain and Jae McGrath to the fore, led by John Delahunty. Jason Matthews also won a mention.
Ultimately, Minyip-Murtoa should be too good.

For full story, see the July 27, 2016 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.
READ IT ONLINE HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=34672

Posted on Jul 27 2016

Posted by on Jul 27 2016. Filed under FEATURED, 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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