Round 10 Preview

How about the day of sport in store for the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga where both netball and football senior games are genuine blockbusters.

The unbeaten Wangaratta have been hit by several outs ahead of its biggest challenge of the season so far against the hungry Pigeons who are almost at full strength. In form ruckman Chris Knowles is unavailable with family wedding in Scotland, while defenders Dylan Van Berlo and Mark Anderson are out injured.

It’s not all bad news with coach Ben Reid named after missing a few games. 2017 premiership stars Matt Kelly and Jessie Smith also return from injury. The Pigeons will again miss midfielder Willie Wheeler, while interest will surround where Leigh Masters plays – forward or back after his seven goals cameo last week.

The massive games are just not down the Murray River with the Wangaratta Rovers and Albury clash in Wangaratta having huge bearing on the top five. Luke Webb, Mackenzie Bristow, and Ben Timms all return for Rovers, while Jimmy Grills is back for the Tigers along with Lachie Taylor Nugent.

The Rovers have lost key big man power in Nathan Cooper (hamstring) and Tom Boyd, while Charlie Thompson returns to the VFL. Defender Tristan Lenaz will miss another week with an Achilles injury.  Todd Bryant fresh from a great shutdown role the previous week on Joe Richards looks set to take on Tigers ball magnet Fletcher Carroll.

Myrtleford has named some big ins for its huge home clash with Corowa Rutherglen with the debut of former Western Bulldogs and GWS star Ryan Griffen. Griffen aged 35, played 257 games in a stellar career where he was named All Australian, two-time Bulldogs best and fairest and club captain in 2014.

In other big news Dawson Simpson, Matt Dussin and Nick Warnock were all included for a match that is a genuine eight-point contest with both sides level on five wins.

The Roos have named an unchanged side with Tom Goodwin and Dawson Simpson battle in the ruck one of many mouth-watering match ups. An inform Lavington will look to continue its push towards finals when they host Wodonga Raiders at the Lavington Sportsground. After upsetting the Saints last week the Panthers side is starting to take shape with the inclusion of Hamish Gilmore a huge boost.

Raiders who have been very honourable in defeat in most games will get back Jarrod Hodgkin after almost a month out. Wodonga after a month of clutch matches without a victory has a chance to finally put its third win of the season together when they host North Albury. They wont want to take the improving Hoppers lightly with its top liners Doulton Langlands, Tim Broomhead and George Godde all in great form. Bulldogs ruckman Jayse Brown has done a superb job in the absence of Michael Driscoll and with the class of Josh Clayton, Angus Baker and Josh Mathey should take the points.

Defending netball premiers Wangaratta will be looking to boost its top three chances when they take on the second placed Pigeons. The Magpies have hit premiership form in the last two weeks after a form slump in May. Yarrawonga themselves have also regained its best form in the last few rounds. It should be an absolute beauty with perhaps the home court advantage and the form of the Pigeons mid court making the difference.

North Albury should keep its spot in the top five with a win over winless Wodonga. Em Browne is in career best form and with Sophia Kohlhagen starring the Hoppers look good things. Wodonga will rely on a big game from Lyndal Hildebrand in the centre to feed Cassi Mathey up front if they are to cause the upset.

Albury will travel to Wangaratta Rovers knowing nothing less than a win is on the agenda to keep up the pursuit of finals action. The Tigers best this year is worthy of finals, they just need to get some consistency across four quarters. Sarah Jones great form should see them home against the tenacious Rovers.

Corowa Rutherglen has been in ruthless form since the interleague bye and should continue this when they travel to Myrtleford. They are currently two games and huge percentage clear in top position. The Saints are a game and a half out of the five and will need a massive form reversal if they are to cause the upset.

The Lavington and Raiders game could be one of the closest of the round with the Panthers keeping an eye on the double chance and retain third place. One would think if the Raiders are to play finals they will need to beat teams like Lavington in the run home, they currently sit one game out.