Powerhouses seek early advantage

Moe's Jacob Wood looks to pass off under pressure during his side's win against Drouin in round one. photograph hayley mills

Moe's Jacob Wood looks to pass off under pressure during his side's win against Drouin in round one. photograph hayley mills

FOOTBALL

GIPPSLAND LEAGUE

Traralgon and Leongatha headline round two action this weekend when the arch-rivals meet in a special night fixture under lights at Traralgon Recreation Reserve from 6.30pm.

The Maroons should prove a worthy adversary for the reigning premiers if round one form is anything to go by.

VFL recruit Connor Ambler boosted Traralgon's stocks in his first run in the maroon and white and booted four goals to help his side to an impressive 16-point victory on the road.

The loss of some second-tier talent in the off-season proved inconsequential for the Maroons, with no less than nine players scoring goals - four of them multiple.

The Parrots enjoyed their first run out under coach Paul Carbis in round one with watertight defence from Josh Schelling and company conceding just five goals to Wonthaggi after quarter-time.

Chris Dunne bagged five goals for Leongatha in the 49-point win and was ably assisted by debutant Dylan Garnham, Tom Marriott and Brok Davidson.

Leongatha will take confidence from its semi-final performance against Traralgon last season after running home to the tune of 28 points.

Drouin v Maffra

Drouin will look to open their season account this weekend when they host Maffra on Saturday from 2.20pm.

The Hawks ran with Moe in the first term in round one to trail by just five points at the first break, but a four-goal-to-two second quarter opened the floodgates for the Lions on their way to a 75-point win.

A Mitch Bennett-led Maffra romped to victory over Sale on Sunday, with the gun forward's nine-goal haul setting the Eagles up for a 58-point win.

When the sides met in round 17 last season Drouin burst out of the blocks and shocked the Eagles with a fiery first term to lead by 20 points at quarter-time.

The joy was short-lived, however, and Maffra returned to their 2016 premiership-winning form with an 11-goal second-quarter to turn the tide 41 points in their favour at half-time.

Kade Renooy and Tom Jolly combined to kick 10 goals for the Eagles in the round 17 blowout and will surely attract the attention of the Hawks defence this weekend.

Sale v Moe

Moe will look to continue their winning form when they take on Sale in round two action on Saturday from 2.20pm at Sale Recreation Reserve.

The Lions were steely in round one and made light work of Drouin with a 70-point drubbing led by Newborough recruit Josh Pearce with four goals.

Moe could have buried the Hawks even deeper in the final term if not for misfired shots on goal that limited them to two goals and 11 behinds.

Sale was at the mercy of Mitch Bennet in their season opener and watched on as the prolific scorer bagged nine goals for Maffra on their way to a 58-point win.

Both games between Moe and Sale were tight last year, with the Lions drawing first blood in round six to win by nine points and the Magpies returned fire in round 15 to win by 11.

Wonthaggi v Warragul

Warragul travels to take on Wonthaggi this weekend, with a host of fresh faces in hot form sure to present a challenge for the Power.

Wonthaggi had the unenviable task of facing Leongatha in round one, fresh off their drought-breaking premiership win, and were no match for the Parrots in a 49-point loss.

The Gulls made off with the points when the sides met in round 15 last season with a 42-point win thanks to goaling duo Nathaniel Paredes and Brayden Fowler who kicked four goals each.

Warragul present a formidable challenge for Wonthaggi with a number of new recruits already making themselves known in the early stages of the season.

Former Traralgon player Luke Di Ciero shone in his first game for the Gulls and kicked three in their win over Morwell, while Tyssen Morrow (Neerim-Neerim South) also looked at home in his first game out for Warragul with two goals.

Saturday's game will be played at Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve from 2.20pm.

Bairnsdale v Morwell

After falling just short in round one, Bairnsdale will utilise their home ground advantage this weekend when they face Morwell on Saturday at 5pm.

The Redlegs fell to Traralgon by 16 points in the season opener but will be encouraged by the efforts of new recruit Josh Kiss (Stratford) after he kicked five goals on debut.

Morwell also suffered a round one loss and managed just four goals from 14 scoring shots to go down to Warragul on the road by 60 points.

Scores were level at the final break when the sides met in round 15 and the Tigers put in a stellar last term to hold Bairnsdale goalless and run away 21-point victors.

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