Maroons and Lions test strengths ahead of finals

Moe skipper Samantha Waters and her team will take on defending premiers Traralgon this weekend. file photograph

Moe skipper Samantha Waters and her team will take on defending premiers Traralgon this weekend. file photograph

NETBALL

GIPPSLAND LEAGUE

A huge contest is shaping between Traralgon and Morwell in A grade netball action this weekend and with the top four all but decided the round 16 header will provide an indication of where both sides stand in the finals' equation.

After a week off for the first half of the split round, both head into Saturday with fresh legs and for Moe – the added bonus of a full list.

Moe shocked the competition and were 10-goal winners when the sides last met in round seven but come up against a bolstered Maroons side.

The Lions couldn't quite match it with ladder leaders Morwell in round 15 and were outdone by 12 goals at the final whistle.

Traralgon have hit form at just the right time and seemed to have stumbled on a winning formula and put away 2017 runners-up Drouin in a canter a fortnight ago, 68-49.

Moe coach Peter Moody said his side's last run before the split round – a 12-goal loss to ladder leaders Morwell - was "a bit disappointing" but held hope for the young Lions against Traralgon.

"Morwell were too good on the day all over the court. They were moving the ball too quickly and we weren't able to defend hard enough," Moody said.

Dynamite goaling duo Georgia Moody and Bella Hodgson were missing for the Lions in their loss to Morwell, as was skipper Samantha Waters, but Moody said the side would be near full strength this weekend.

"We'll get everyone back, so I expect us to put on a strong show and I spoke to the girls and we're going to be treating the game like a final," he said.

"If we can get over the top it'll be a massive confidence boost and secure an all important double chance, so we're going to give it everything we've got."

Warragul v Maffra

The fifth and final post-season spot is on the line this weekend when sixth-placed Warragul host fifth-placed Maffra.

The sides are tied on eight wins apiece and both come into the round 16 fixture with fresh legs on the back of wins a fortnight ago.

Maffra clinched a crucial win in the scheme of their finals campaign in round 15 and ran away with the premiership points in a thriller over Bairnsdale, 40-39.

Warragul were dominant on home turf against Leongatha and cruised to a 15-goal win.

Maffra had the luxury of the home court advantage in round seven and sealed the win by six goals but fortunes will be reversed this weekend as the Gulls prepare to host.

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