LAUNCESTON will have to beat Burnie in today's State League preliminary final without Tim Bristow and Jason Edwards after both were ruled out of contention at training on Thursday night.
Blues coach Brennan Savage confirmed the pair's fate yesterday, saying they both were unable to do enough to claim spots but would be given another chance for next week if the Blues won.
Savage said he expected another tough and close contest following their one-point qualifying final victory and said playing the Dockers brought the best out of the club.
``It's good to have that rivalry that we do against Burnie and it is all set to play out again on Saturday night and we're really looking forward to it,'' he said.
``The last time we played them we won, so we take a great deal of confidence out of the plans we put into place that worked to a certain point in the game.
``We managed to hold on although we did fall in by a metre to the right-hand side of the post.
``We feel we did enough earlier with the plans we had in place and you just have to get it right on the day.''
Savage said the Blues would build on their last encounter, and he was happy with the way they played when they didn't have the ball.
He said their concentration and ability to execute their plans were good but they needed to maintain it for four quarters and not just a half of football.
``Our start against South last week wasn't good and we were too reactive and got caught out, while they had a terrific start and dictated terms.
``We've reviewed that game and have moved on and are concentrating on Burnie this week and we want to be able to execute our plans.''
Savage said the Dockers set up well at stoppages with a dominant ruck duo and it was necessary for the Blues to work hard defensively and help out their backs to regain possession and use the ball on the way out.
``We're looking forward to doing some other things with players to try and get the edge on Saturday,'' he said.
``We have spoken about our cleanliness with the ball after last week and I'm certain there will be a better output in terms of how clean we are and being a one-touch player, which you have to be in finals.
``They got some quality players - Shack is almost untaggable and is going to win his share of ball regardless of who plays on him.
``The same way with Munday - once he gets it, he does not waste it and has been a great player for a long time.
``There are some plans for those guys and not only them because they've got great ball users across every line with Eli Templeton and Brady Grey livewires who use the footy well - but we've got plans and look forward to trying to execute what we couldn't last week.''
City Park Radio (103.7FM) will broadcast the game from 4.50pm.