Top of the table clashes set to excite

Rosedale's Richard Ingrouille eyes off the ball against Glengarry last weekend. photograph hayley mills
Rosedale's Richard Ingrouille eyes off the ball against Glengarry last weekend. photograph hayley mills



Yarram continue to dominate the North Gippsland senior competition after a 41-point win over Woodside, while Churchill and Traralgon Tyers United round out the top three.

Eyes will be on the two top Latrobe Valley teams this weekend when TTU head up the highway to take on Churchill who come off a 21-point win against Cowwarr at the weekend.

Sale City and Rosedale are only separated by percentage and will battle it out in a fourth-versus-fifth clash at Rosedale.

Churchill coach Chris Williams was pleased with a "reasonably good start" to the season but said winning Saturday's game against the Cougars would be "the icing on the cake".

"If we can win against TTU we'll be very happy with our first half of the season," Williams said.

"Across the board we haven't really relied on too many players, we've had even contributors. Our side will be pretty unchanged from last week, almost at full strength."

The Bombers head into the game after a 14-point loss to Heyfield, who sit seventh, in round eight.

"TTU have a pretty talented list. They've brought in eight really talented players into their side so it should be a very good game I think," Williams said.

Gormandale v Woodside

Steve Hazelman admits Gormandale's start to the season hasn't been what he hoped for, but is optimistic his charges can turn their performance around in the second half of the season.

The Tigers remain eighth on the North Gippsland ladder after winning only two of their eight games this season.

"Hopefully we'll get a few players back who were out injured, we're really looking forward to having a home game given we won our last home game," Hazelman said.

"We're still struggling in terms of cohesion within the group given we've brought so many players in.

"However, we've shown signs over the last few weeks that we're playing some better team football and that's showing in our results."

The Wildcats have enjoyed varied success so far, having won four from four but head into Saturday's game following a 41-point loss.

"Woodside are a team that have 22 even contributors and playing against their coach Todd Bryant, he's a great player and one that we will need to watch," Hazelman said.

"We'd love to be higher on the ladder and things haven't really worked out due to a number of injuries but we're really setting ourselves for a big second half of the year."

Heyfield v Glengarry

Heyfield coach Mark Stevens is "desperate" to reclaim some of the Roos' players from injury as the side continues to grapple with a lingering list of unavailable players.

"We're need our players back, we had 10 unavailable last week due to injury and work, so if we can get some of them back then hopefully it will help us build on our confidence," Stevens said.

The Roos sit seventh on the North Gippsland ladder and head into this weekend's game against Glengarry following a two-goal win over the Bombers at Tyers.

"We've been in most games. We've been competitive, we haven't had a really big loss so that shows that we can win these games," Stevens said.

"I was hoping the boys could get some reward for how hard they've been working and last week against TTU they got that reward and we'll look to continue that momentum forward.

"The development of Nick Ierardi and Brayden Woodland and the younger players have really helped improved our side this season - the same six or eight players play well each week and then when these younger guys step up, it makes a difference."

Glengarry, who sit ninth, head into Saturday's game after a 72-point drubbing by fifth-placed Rosedale in round eight.

Yarram v Cowwarr

Yarram will cross the Valley into Cowwarr this weekend as the Demons will be keen to secure their ninth back-to-back win in 2018.

Demons coach Matt Scholz said the side would be ready for the challenge despite a few injuries preventing Yarram from fielding its full senior side.

"Cowwarr found some form on the weekend against a good opponent in Churchill and showed some promising signs from their point of view," Scholz said.

"The league this year is very tight. You can't take the foot off the gas at all because you'll get caught out.

"At this stage we've got a few niggling injuries leading up to the weekend so we have to address them and see where we are at the end of the week."

Those "niggles" include Scholz himself who went down in the third quarter last week against Woodside with an ankle injury.

Ruckman Dan Vardy could also miss a few weeks with "bone bruising" on the knee.

"[Cowwarr have] got some handy players and they haven't been travelling too well but they've hit some straps and have played some good footy so we have to be careful.

The Saints sit last on the North Gippsland senior ladder and remain the only team in the competition without a win.

Rosedale v Sale City

Sale City will travel to Rosedale for a fourth versus fifth showdown.

Both teams are equal on points and only separated by percentage, and head into the game following round eight wins.

The game could very well resemble a finals match should both the Blues and Bulldogs manage to hold onto a top five finish for the remainder of the season.