A bye-week trip to Victoria has affected OLD LAUNCESTONIANS this weekend, with four key players to miss their Bridport clash.
Coach Laine Cleaver, captain Campbell Fraser, Danny Hall and George McAdam will all miss, returning home after lockdown was called.
Despite the outs, Cleaver is hoping for his side to replicate its two recent four-quarter performances in his absence.
"It was really close between the two sides the first time we met, so it will be interesting to see how we go after 10 weeks in between games this time around," he said.
Bridport come into the clash following a "competitive" loss to Old Scotch, with coach Greg Latham looking for his troops to bring something similar.
"It's not dissimilar to last week, they are in the top three or thereabouts, so we go in with the same sort of approach and that is we will give some other guys an opportunity and just have a red-hot crack," he said.
MEANDER VALLEY has also felt the brunt of restrictions, but may receive welcome news on Friday ahead of its Perth showdown.
Coach Damien Rhind and several more of his men went to Victoria during their bye a week prior and have had to avoid large public gatherings, ruling out football.
Awaiting an update, Rhind is hoping to avoid a repeat of their last Perth clash.
"We were leading at three-quarter time and then fell away in the last quarter, so them coming to our home deck, it's certainly going to be a massive opportunity for us to get a win on the board and we will be looking to get a win," he said.
Perth coach Danny Bennett was pleased with his side's first and last-quarter performances against Old Scotch a fortnight ago and described Saturday's game as "tough".
"It's certainly a game that both clubs are looking to get a win at and think they are both good chances," he said.
"Meander at home is always tough so we'll go up there, put our best foot forward and hopefully come away with the win."
First hosts second in potentially the game of the season as LILYDALE meets Old Scotch for the Keian Brown memorial cup.
The Thistles became the first team since East Coast in 2018 to defeat the Demons earlier this year but coach Brayley Coombes isn't getting ahead of himself.
"Our boys are super excited, it's a big challenge," he said.
"They are the top side in the competition for a reason but we are up for the contest and really looking forward to it."
Lilydale coach Colin Lockhart is looking for his side to put in a strong performance in Brown's memory as the Demons return from the bye.
"The bye probably came at the right time as long as we switch on after it," he said.
"Sometimes clubs talk about not being able to switch back on but we will have a short, sharp session to focus them back and hopefully it will be a good game."
ST PATS hope to regain a bunch of important players on a big day for the club against Evandale.
Captain Tom Hilder will return with Luke Walsh and Phil Dikkenberg both facing fitness tests according to coach Jake Lowe.
"We are wearing our heritage guernseys and then we have our 90-year anniversary celebrations at the casino after that," he said.
"There's a pretty big rivalry between St Pats and Evandale, there always has been and hopefully we might regain a couple of really important players we haven't had for the past couple of weeks."
Evandale coach Sam Bouwman admitted the recent trend of not scoring is bothering him but is hoping to turn that around this week.
"We've heard there's about an inch of rain coming on the weekend and we think we are a good contested footy side, we did well against Old Scotch in that regard.
"Facing St Pats on our home turf, you never know, we are a chance."
Playing some of its best team football last week, EAST COAST is hoping to continue that against UTAS.
"We are just trying to iron out some of the things we've been working on as far as ball movement goes and just look to play some good team footy to give us momentum heading into the latter rounds," coach Gene Savage said.
UTAS coach Brodie Tiernan said while his side was outplayed against Bridport a fortnight ago, it played better than the scoreboard suggested and will be out to bring that into Saturday as he plays at St Helens for the first time.
"Last time we played East Coast, we were about 10 goals down at three-quarter time, so we actually played pretty well against them.
"Basically we look to keep learning, we've had some of the younger guys step up and play well over the last three games, so hopefully they play well."