Traf out to muzzle Dogs

Bomber Dylan Bath during round 14. photograph hayley mills

Bomber Dylan Bath during round 14. photograph hayley mills

FOOTBALL

MID GIPPSLAND

With just a month of home and away football remaining, Trafalgar will be looking for a series of testing matches before finals, starting with this weekend's clash against Newborough.

A game like last week's with Boolarra can sometimes lull a side into a false sense of security when mistakes are not punished like they would be against a side further up the table.

The Bulldogs will provide a greater challenge this week, albeit more physical than skilful.

The match-up will be a stepping stone for the Bloods in fine-tuning for bigger tests to follow.

Make no mistake, Newborough coach Tom Hallinan will want to take the scalp of a finals contender before the season is done.

At home Trafalgar can be beaten, as Yallourn-Yallourn North showed earlier in the season, but it will take four quarters of disciplined, selfless, hard-running football with contributions from every single player.

Yarragon v Thorpdale

This is an absolute danger game for Thorpdale as they sit in fifth spot, two games clear of any threat to their finals' aspirations.

However, as they say, a week is a long time in football and this week might have the Blues somewhat nervous about keeping themselves in the finals race if they cannot claim the points against an ever-improving Yarragon outfit.

The Panthers are quite confident they will not be blown away by any side but what they need to do is win games.

Just last week the eighth-placed Panthers had the opportunity to win one against the odds when they led the in-form Mirboo North at three-quarter-time only to fall short.

At home and in good conditions they might just do what many won't expect and grab a win.

Boolarra v Mirboo North

Mirboo North got out of jail free last week when they came over the top of Yarragon in the final term.

They won't find themselves in the same position this week but what they will need to do is find spots for two new quality players without upsetting the mojo of a team that has been in solid form for most of the past two months.

Former AFL players Jason Winderlich and Joel Reynolds will make their 2018 debuts for the Tigers this week and it won't be a moment too soon.

With a minimum of three games required to qualify for finals, there is not much room for error.

It's a tricky scenario for coach Josh Taylor – introducing new faces so late in the season – and at the same time ensuring he has a playing group that not only understands but embraces the duo for the benefit of the club.

YYN v Morwell East

The Bombers are looking forward to the better weather forecasted in the weeks ahead and are hopeful the skies remain blue for this weekend's clash with Morwell East.

Yallourn-Yallourn North have an abundance of speed sprinkled through their side but it sits within some lighter-framed bodies that found the going tough in heavy conditions recently.

With two key forwards continuing to get their hands on the footy, Dean MacDonald and Keenan Hughes just need to work on accuracy which is likely to come as the conditions improve.

Morwell East would have gained some much-needed confidence from their comfortable win over Hill End last week.

Yinnar v Hill End

Yinnar have secured themselves a top-three spot, and have done so with very little fanfare.

The Magpies have gone about their business quietly and efficiently, slowly improving each week as the player talent pool to select from improves.

They are now close to having their best side on the park and that spells danger for all sides in the competition, whether inside the top five or not.

There could not be a bigger contrast between Yinnar and this week's opponent Hill End, who have been performing courageously with a team that is well short of full strength.

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