SOUTH LAUNCESTON remains unbeaten at the halfway point of the season but Longford coach Beau Thorp says his side couldn’t meet the reigning premier at a better time.
The Country Tigers enjoyed a morale-boosting win over Hillwood before the bye and Thorp plans to repeat the dose in front of a Longford crowd celebrating the club’s 140-year anniversary.
The midfielder said Scottsdale’s near-victory last round proved the Bulldogs were not invincible.
“We definitely don’t hide away from the fact that they’re a very beatable side,” Thorp said.
“We match up really well against South Launny and a good win over Hillwood last round for us sees us going into the game every confident.
“We’re the underdogs but it shows that Scottsdale nearly knocked off South… they’re not untouchable.”
The Bulldogs have called on experience for the first-versus-fifth clash, with Aaron Viney, Rory Mansell, Dylan Johnson and former Tiger Tom Reinmuth all inclusions to a side which has fielded eight players aged 20 and younger this year.
Coach Leigh Harding said his side showed grit in running over the Magpies and was looking forward to meeting an “in-form side”.
“We’re building it up like a finals-type game,” he said.
“To get a game against a good side with a big crowd who will be all against us is something the guys are jumping out of their skin for.”
SCOTTSDALE is still holding out hope despite sitting in seventh spot at 2-6.
Geoff Mohr’s Magpies held a 24-point lead over the Bulldogs last round and boast a better percentage than second-placed Bracknell, but need to turn close losses into wins to make a dent on finals.
“I’m quite confident we could win eight more games and finish on 10 wins,” Mohr said ahead of his side’s clash with the Redlegs.
“I think the results prove that we can beat any team, we’ve been in every game, it’s more the fact we’ve let ourselves down rather than being beaten.”
Joe Chilcott will make his return for a Redlegs side which has improved its goal-kicking in recent times.
Bracknell coach Gary Shipton said Scottsdale marked the first challenge in a tough month ahead.
“(Daniel Roozendaal) is starting to find a bit of form, he’s a key player we have to stop this week,” he said.
“Matt Lang did a good job on him last time we played here, and if Geoff goes in there we’ve got plans for that as well - we’ve got a bit more versatility in our ruck department than we did last year.”
BRIDGENORTH can leapfrog Hillwood into third spot this week should it take four points from its home clash with Deloraine.
Lachlan Bonney and Patty Mackrell will both come out of the side which fell over the line against Rocherlea.
“We’re reasonably happy with our start to the year,” coach Brady Demeijer said.
“We’d like to win one or two more in the second half and really push for a top-three spot. (Deloraine) showed against Bracknell they can play against the top sides so we’ll be putting our best foot forward.”
The Kangaroos have spent two weeks on the sidelines but Bradley Powe said his side would be raring to go.
“We should have a full list to pick from,” Powe said.
“Potentially another couple of young blokes will come into contention for their first game as well, which would be good for the club.”
ROCHERLEA won’t take George Town lightly despite the Saints’ series of big losses.
The Saints pushed Rocherlea for four quarters in the opening round and Suburban Tigers boss Lyndon Stubbs is expecting no easy games in the second half of the season.
“I did rate and respect George Town’s game in round one so we’ll have to be switched on,” he said.
Saints coach Allan O’Sign agreed the game was up for grabs.
“I think we match up pretty well,” he said.
“It’s going to come down to who wants it more, who’s willing to work harder and run harder.”