Well-rounded Hawks eye second win

Adrian Fazioli moves the ball forward for the Hawks at the weekend. photograph hayley mills

Adrian Fazioli moves the ball forward for the Hawks at the weekend. photograph hayley mills

FOOTBALL

MID GIPPSLAND

Yinnar and Morwell East were winners last week in convincing but contrasting ways and kick off round two action this weekend in the Mid Gippsland Football League.

The Magpies kicked off their season, away from home, up to six players short of their full strength side against reigning premiers Mirboo North.

However, the off-season quiet achievers proved they had the depth to match it with the very best.

Well balanced and neat with the ball and with a handful of options up forward including McBride, Geary, Albanese, and Rowley, it's hard to see where six new faces could find a spot.

Morwell East were better than 20-goal winners, albeit against Boolarra, so the quality of the win is hard to gauge at this early stage.

What is easy to see, however, is the firepower in front of goals with Nicolaus Campbell and Lucas Towns grabbing a dozen between them.

Throw in some quality around the ball like Robert Michaelides and you're a long way towards winning any game.

Newborough v Hill End

Newborough will host Hill End at the kennel on Saturday from 2.35pm in what is shaping as an intriguing contest.

The Bulldogs did the job in patchy fashion last week against Yarragon and inaccuracy probably kept the Panthers in the game longer than coach Tom Hallinan would have liked.

In perfect conditions, the Dogs were pretty impressive to watch - fit and fast, tall and tough - they seemed to have all the boxes ticked, even with the off-season loss of some quality players.

On the other hand Hill End were all at sea against Trafalgar and it's hard to get too excited about their 2018 chances.

Yallourn/Yallourn North v Yarragon

Returning to their home ground will be a good thing for the Yallourn-Yallourn North when they meet Yarragon this weekend as they were pretty much bullied out of the contest in round one against Thorpdale.

Tyler Brown and Barrie Burnett were good, but they need a load more help and a more dominant forward to work with.

Panthers coach Rob Cahill kept the team in the middle of their home ground after last week's loss to Newborough for some time.

To their credit, Yarragon didn't give up and implemented some impressive passages of play but didn't make the most of their chances in front of goal.

There were some little cracks with player discipline, but overall the signs of improvement were there.

Yarragon might be a cheeky chance in this one if last week's loss hasn't dented the confidence in a side that has an enormous amount of new faces.

Boolarra v Thorpdale

Boolarra is an improved side from the one that travelled through 2017 winless, but the Demons will be up against the odds this weekend when they host Thorpdale.

Unfortunately, Boolarra's 20-goal loss last week is likely to be replicated, even at home against this week's opponent in the Blues.

Thorpdale were good against Yallourn/Yallourn North last week and will look even better in round two.

A good spread of targets up forward and a nice mix of skill and brute strength in the middle is complimented by a steady defence.

Trafalgar v Mirboo North

Trafalgar hosts defending premiers Mirboo North this weekend at just the right time.

The Tigers were scrappy early against Yinnar, but coach Josh Taylor addressed the team and kept them calm.

Taylor explained some shortfalls but highlighted areas in which he was reasonably content.

Falling away so badly would be a concern for Mirboo North, especially in an opening round home game.

Trafalgar have been priming themselves for a good start to the season and last week's comfortable win over Hill End proved they are capable of making two in a row.

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