Few would have thought it after round two, but Saturday's match-up between Bridgenorth and Scottsdale is shaping up to be a cracker.
Eighth and second on the ladder after contrasting opening fortnights, the pair sit on 12 points apiece after wins over Rocherlea, Hillwood and Scottsdale.
For the second time in three weeks, Bridgenorth won by less than a kick.
"Somehow we're finding a way to win," Parrots coach Phil Lethborg said.
"It's not overly good for the coach's heart or mental health but I was proud of the boys - they never gave in and played the game out."
The Magpies were able to keep Rohan Sergeant quiet, but James Griffiths got off the chain with five goals.
"He's up and about at the moment which is good and starting to play to what he's capable of," Lethborg said.
Lochy Dornauf's Deloraine was dealt its first loss of 2021 as another five-goal performance - this time from Bart McCulloch - proved the difference.
"We got out-coached and full credit to Anthony Taylor in that respect," Dornauf said.
"We also didn't play our game plan - against top teams like South we're going to come undone if we don't play the brand of football that's been successful for us the last 24 months."
Dornauf, who hopes to have a fully-fit list within three weeks, admitted he was unsure what to expect from the Parrots, who scored just one goal in their season opener against Longford.
"They've played some really good footy against teams like Scottsdale and they've taken some hefty losses as well, so it'll be interesting to see what Bridgenorth team turns up on Saturday.
"We're extremely cautious of Sergeant and [Matt] Zanetto especially, but mainly for us we just want to go back to playing our game plan."
LONGFORD will hand a debut to Will Dakin in Saturday's trip to Hillwood.
Country Tigers coach Beau Thorp, who was pleased with his side's efforts after half-time last week, said the 2018 under-18 premiership player had earned his chance.
"He's a very well-built and very strong under-18s boy who plays a very good defensively in our backline. He's been playing some really good footy in our under-18s," Thorp said.
Hillwood found a way to win last round despite losing Kaleb Nielsen and Travis Praciak before half-time.
"For the guys to battle on was really good, that was probably the most pleasing thing for the day," coach Jake Pearce said.
Pearce said putting pressure on the ball-carrier was the best way to stop gun Longford forward Luke Murfitt-Cowen kicking a bag, and flagged the inclusion of some smaller bodies.
"We've gone with height the few previous games, we might have to try and limit that a little bit because we know Longford are a very quick side," Pearce said.
"They like to move the ball well, so if the footy's coming down to ground early they'll be too quick on the spread I think so we'll have to change our plans there."
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SCOTTSDALE will look to get back to winning ways in a night clash with George Town.
Jacob Singline held the back-line together well against Bridgenorth but could only do so much as the Magpies sunk back to 2-2.
"We have to bounce back a little bit from a tough loss," assistant coach Lochie Young said.
"We just really dropped our heads after a couple of goals got kicked - instead of shutting the game down on our terms we let them get a roll on and with a home crowd advantage they kept going.
"It's a good lesson for our guys to learn when the going gets tough to step up."
The Magpies' Launceston-based players have continued to train with Old Scotch on Tuesdays after successfully integrating with the division one outfit in 2020.
- Grab a copy of Saturday's The Examiner for a preview to Sunday's Rocherlea-Bracknell game.