Roos up for Dog fight

July 14, 2017

Tanner Robertson (left) will be a key player for the Rovers tomorrow.

The Deni Rovers are confident they can shut down the attack of an in-form Strathmerton side tomorrow afternoon.

Playing on their home deck at Memorial Park for the round 14 clash, the Roos are looking for their first big scalp of the Picola League season with a win almost guaranteeing them a finals spot.

The last time the two sides faced off at Memorial Park it was the Rovers who stormed to a 55-point upset win.

Deni Rovers coach Nick Braybon knows it won’t be that easy this time around though, expecting a close score if his side is to win.

‘‘They’re the in-form team of the competition so it will be a massive challenge,’’ he said.

‘‘Strathy are such a well drilled side and most of the team have been playing together for a long time.

‘‘They’ve all been playing together for years and have always been near the top.

‘‘We know we have to be accountable, and if we can get our hands on the ball and prevent Strathy from playing their quick brand of footy then we should be in a position to win.

‘‘We don’t feel like we have anything to prove. We just want to go out and get the job done.’’

The Roos will be boosted with the inclusion of onballer Taylor Milner this week, after being a late exclusion for last week’s clash against Mathoura.

Braybon said other than Milner his side was unlikely to change.

‘‘We need to focus on having an even contribution across the ground again this week as Strathy don’t rely on just one or two blokes to get the job done,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re a team that shares the load, so if one bloke is having a bad day another one will step up.

‘‘Our restructuring of having a more flexible forward line has come together quite quickly but Strathy’s defence is a tough one to get around.

‘‘They have a lot of medium sized defenders who can play tall or small, so we may look to keep Tanner Robertson deep in the forward 50 as a key target.

‘‘Tanner’s a strong competitor and even if he doesn’t take the grab, he will make sure the ball doesn’t end up in the hands of the opposition.

‘‘John Allitt coming into the ruck has given Tanner the chance to play forward a lot more, too.

‘‘John rucked well in the first half last week so we’ll be looking for a similar performance from him over the four quarters.’’

Strathmerton’s Luke Collyer, Mick Laidlaw and Matt Shannon will be crucial in defence when they battle Rovers forwards Robertson, Terry Lumbar and Marc Braybon.

The midfield battle will be one to watch with Rovers mids Andrew May, Rhys McCulloch, Addison Milner and Damian Hope taking on Tyron Hill, Daniel Ellis, Brock Palmer and Mikal Bloom.

Rovers defender Brayden Jones may get the job on Strathmerton spearhead Adrian Crestani, who has kicked 32 goals this season. Ellis is another Bulldog to watch around goals, with 27 majors to his credit in 2017.

Selection: Strathmerton by 10 goals.

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