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WFL : Warrack Eagles, Stawell Warriors eye off critical third spot

Luke Mulquiny tackles Jordan Zeitz, Nhill vs Minyip-Murtoa.

Luke Mulquiny tackles Jordan Zeitz, Nhill vs Minyip-Murtoa.

PHOTOS | WFL and HDNFL footy and netball action June 24, 2017

Warrack Eagles will attempt to take a mighty step in efforts to stake an early claim on a Wimmera Football League finals double chance when they travel to Murtoa on Saturday.
The Eagles and Stawell are so far providing the tantalising elements of a top-of-the-table equation and in the run home to the season’s end will be on the hunt for major scalps.
Eight rounds into a 16-round season and the Eagles are sitting in the double-chance third spot, a game clear of Stawell but with miserable percentage, which is leaving them vulnerable.
They have won six of their eight games, their only hiccup in the past five a wayward 44-point loss against Horsham.
The Yarriambiack combine had to work hard to shrug off a determined Dimboola last week and now fronts up against a Minyip-Murtoa side sitting on a lofty perch atop the ladder.
But the Burras haven’t had it all their own way in the past couple of weeks and similar to a previous week’s clash against Dimboola, had to pull out the stops to overcome Nhill.
There is plenty to like about both sides, although the Burras appear to have more key-position power and depth on the fringes.
Last week dashing Kade Petering topped the vote cards for the Burras alongside Tom Cooper, Oliver Young, John Delahunty and coach Damian Cameron. Interestingly, enigmatic Braydon Ison, who can present a problematic match-up issue for opposition teams, kicked four goals.
The Eagles, meanwhile, in beating a willing Roos outfit, had Ryan McKenzie setting the bar and Josh Bibby, six, and Jack Wilson, four, kicking 10 goals between them.
Scott Adams was good and will need to be again against the Burras tall timber and it was hard for Eagles insiders with vote cards to overlook Jacob Cheney.
Minyip-Murtoa has shown signs of cracking under the weight of expectation but might have breached a mid-season hump and will win by 27 points.
Tough game
Stawell would be happy to see an Eagles loss and after scoring a comprehensive win over old rival Ararat will set its sights on Nhill at home at Central Park.
Statistics suggest the Warriors should be too good for the visitors, especially with players such as David Andrivon, fresh from a seven-goal haul, James Delahunty, Jesse Galea-Portelli, Sean Mantell, Jackson Dark and Tom Eckel all getting a taste for leather last week.
Veteran Brent Tuckey is also a tough match-up.
But regardless of scoring only two wins for the season, Nhill can be an unpredictable and tough nut to crack.
Last week goals flowed off the boots of Gene Robinson and Callum Semple while Billy Hayes, Ed Pritchard and Darcy Honeyman had good games.
Stawell will win, by only by 13 points in a thriller.
Roos hungry
So where does the upset of the round come from this week?
Look no further than the gums at Dimboola where the home-town Roos, generating good football at the moment, would be eyeing off a victory over Horsham Saints.
Dimboola is hungry with nothing to lose, while the Saints, desperately clinging to fifth spot, were well and truly off the boil, particularly in front of the sticks, against Horsham last game.
Can the Roos smell blood in the water?
The likes of Elliot Braithwaite, Jare Krnjic, Jackson O’Neill and Michael Pohlner all won votes of approval from the Dimboola faithful last week.
The Saints kicked an awkward 1.10 against Horsham, although slippery Jacob O’Beirne again found plenty of the footy, reflecting what has so far been an outstanding season.
Dimboola might just get up and beat the Saints by seven points.
Demons confident
The Saints’ bad stumble would have fuelled confidence in the Horsham camp, which doesn’t augur well for Ararat at Horsham City Oval.
While Horsham managed only 11 goals in scrambling to a solid win over the Saints, Ararat managed only six against Stawell.
In a tight season with little between the teams, goal conversion is proving to be critical.
It will be essential for the Rats against a fast-moving Demons outfit.
Regardless of the loss, Ararat had good players last week in Adam Haslett, Sam Shalders, Nick Mendes and Mitch Gemmola.
Horsham’s form players last week, according to the Demons faithful, were the seemingly unstoppable Simon Hobbs, Deek Roberts, Jack Mentha and perhaps the most consistent defender in the league Rhona Conboy. And again, Joel Geue slipped under everyone’s guard to kick three goals alongside Josh Mibus.
Horsham will prevail by 32 points.

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Posted on Jun 28 2017

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