NORTH Launceston finds itself in second spot on the State League ladder after Saturday's 44-point victory over Devonport but faces another big test of its finals credentials on Saturday when it meets Burnie at Aurora Stadium.
The Bombers have made a dream start to the season, winning four of their five matches with their only loss to undefeated ladder-leader Clarence, which they led by three goals midway through the third quarter before being overrun.
In contrasting fortunes this season, last year's runner-up, Burnie, finds itself second from bottom with a 1-4 record after going down to the Western Storm by 24 points at West Park on Saturday _ its third loss at home this season.
North can expect to have the experienced Allan O'Sign back from a hamstring after the club decided not to risk him in cold, wet conditions on Saturday.
But they had injury worries with Damien Medwin (hamstring) and Logan Reynolds (hand), and Andrew Cox-Goodyer suffered blurred vision during the game.
``We're 4 and 1 and that's a nice way to be, and it's been a while since this footy club has been there at senior level, so it's a really nice start,'' Bombers coach Zane Littlejohn said.
``We beat Burnie down there but I've mentioned to the boys that none of our wins will come easy and we are going to have to work hard to get them.''
WESTERN Storm moved to fourth on the ladder with a 3-2 record after its meritorious win in ordinary conditions over Burnie.
The Storm out-tackled and outplayed the Dockers in what coach Mitch Hills described as a ``season-defining'' game.
They take on Hobart City at Aurora Stadium this week, and Hills will be keen for his side to continue to build momentum with another victory.
LAUNCESTON travels to play Devonport after dominating the Tigers in their game at Windsor Park in a much-improved performance by the Blues.
Coach Scott Stephens was rapt with the intensity and tackling pressure of his young side and will want a repeat of that and more accurate kicking for goal if the Blues are to grab their third win of the season against Devonport.
GLENORCHY sits third on the ladder after winning four games straight and will provide Clarence with a tough challenge at KGV.
The Roos had too much class for Lauderdale last Saturday after a week of hype and controversy in the lead-up to that game.
LAUDERDALE will look to rebound from that loss with a win at Kingborough over bottom side the Tigers.