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WFL FINALS: Warrack Eagles well placed for finals

Harry Trezise evades Deek Roberts.   Horsham vs Warrack Eagles.

Harry Trezise.

Warrack Eagles have every reason to dream about what Wimmera Football League finals might offer.
The Eagles have continued their rise in the competition during the past couple of years and have been rewarded with a third-place finish.
The Eagles are an interesting outfit that might be capable of anything in the right circumstance.
They have adopted an open, free-flowing style of game, which has allowed coach Ryan McKenzie to manipulate his group based on player resources at his disposal – a move that has been successful in securing the Eagles a double chance.
During the past few weeks of the home-and-away season the Eagles have had a few hiccups, but they have been more than competitive at times against the top two sides.
The Eagles might be the beneficiary of the changing environment and occasion of a finals series and it wouldn’t be a surprise in the next couple of weeks if they were on the winning end of a boilover upset result.
The Eagles will certainly aim to use the double chance to their advantage and have a young side that can be fuelled and heavily influenced by momentum.
Much depends on how well coach McKenzie can inspire his team through direction, strategy and his own performance, especially with conversion in front of the sticks.
What was obvious when calling Eagles games from the broadcast box was how important it was for them to win the ball out of the middle and for their players, when they find space, to use the ball well.
At the forefront is goal-kicking midfielder Kieran Ellis, who is a wonderful user of the footy and one of the reasons the Eagles have done well in getting the ball forward.
He has had an outstanding year, his ability to turn onto his preferred left leg often wrong-footing opponents.
The big question surrounding Warrack Eagles has been the injury to assistant coach and ruckman Shannon Argall, missing in action for several weeks.
The Eagles have lacked tall timber in the absence of Argall and he would certainly make a difference to the team’s fortunes in the finals.
Without him, the team is likely to struggle to find rucking depth, especially against both Horsham and Minyip-Murtoa.
What’s good about the Eagles is that when they move the ball quickly and are on song as a playing group, a variety of goal-scoring options emerge.
Players such as Jesse Murphy and Josh Bibby are important finishers, Murphy in particular has been regularly threading the sticks of late, while Bibby will be keen to rekindle good form early in the season.
The Eagles also have a willing fleet of players keen to make a finals impression – none more so than consistent Riley Morrow and Ben Spicer, who is a proven contested-ball winner and an important cog in their finals campaign.
In summary, everything has to go right for the Warrack Eagles for the team to make the season finale.
Despite the outfit finishing third after the home-and-away season, pundits are unlikely to have penciled in the Yarriambiack combine for the grand final.
But this fact alone could seriously work in its favour because
the team’s best football will seriously threaten any
opponent in the finals.
Warrack Eagles’
road to the finals
Coach: Ryan McKenzie

Round 1: W. 16.14 (110) d Dimboola 7.6 (48). Away.
Round 2: L. 10.9 (69) lost to Minyip-Murtoa 15.12 (102). Home.
Round 3: W. 17.11 (113) d Nhill 14.12 (96). Home.
Round 4: W. 7.9 (51) d Horsham Saints 6.11 (47). Away. **
Round 5: W. 17.15 (117) d Ararat 11.7 (73). Home.
Round 6: W. 14.8 (92) d Stawell 10.11 (71). Away.
Round 7: L. 9.11 (65) lost to Horsham 16.13 (109). Home.
Round 8: W. 16.12 (108) d Dimboola 11.16 (82). Home.
Round 9: L. 7.13 (55) lost to Minyip-Murtoa 9.13 (67). Away.
Round 10: W. 20.14 (134) d Nhill 8.8 (56). Away. *
Round 11: W. 12.13 (85) d Horsham Saints 10.14 (74). Home.
Round 12: W. 18.12 (120) d Ararat 8.6 (54). Away.
Round 13: W. 14.13 (97) d Stawell 9.8 (62). Home.
Round 14: L. 9.15 (69) lost to Horsham 16.16 (112). Away.
Round 15: D. 12.11 (83) drew with Ararat 12.11 (83). Home.
Round 16: W. 16.13 (109) d Dimboola 12.11 (83). Away.
* Highest score. * * Lowest score
Total: Won: 11. Lost: 4. Tied: 1. For: 1477. Against: 1299. Points: 46. Percentage: 121.16.
Leading goal-kickers
Jesse Murphy 51, Josh Bibby 46, Ryan McKenzie 23, Jack Wilson 23.

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Posted on Aug 30 2017

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