GRFL - Saints on top?

QUAMBATOOK could be on top of the Golden Rivers Football League ladder at 5.15pm tomorrow if the side records its third win of the season.

The Saints go into tomorrow's match against Hay as one of four undefeated teams this season, and will take advantage of defending premiers, Murrabit having the bye this weekend.

Tim Free's side took advantage of an undermanned Nullawil outfit 13 days ago to produce a 52-point win, whilst the Lions kicked 31 goals in a 166-point thumping of Macorna.

The match will be the Lions' first away match of the season, with the Saints looking for a second consecutive home win in 2017

"No doubt Hay has some really quality players, who have been some of the better players in the competition for the past few years," Quambatook coach, Tim Free said.

"Jackson Ferguson is in really good form, especially with his performance before Easter, and they have a solid midfield, led by Simon Bunyan.

"We will need an even contribution from all 21 players, similar to what we did before Easter, to win."

Ferguson will be a major player the Saints will need to shut down, with the former St Kilda player booting 10 goals 13 days ago.

Ash Davis will be best suited to stop the tall, whilst Jack Baker will run alongside Bunyan in the middle of the ground.

The major advantage the Saints will have over the Lions will be its various goalkicking options. The Mallee-based team has averaged seven individual goalkickers in its opening two matches, meaning the likes of Andrew Low will need to be on their game to produce a second consecutive win at the Quambatook Recreation Reserve.

Hay won on both occasions the teams met in 2016, with the closest result being 36 points back in July.

PREDICTION: Quambatook will remain undefeated with a 20-point win.

Doing it for Luke

The only Sunday match for the 2017 Golden Rivers Football League home and away season will take on a special significance when Ultima hosts Nullawil.

The game, which will raise funds for local Returned and Services League sub-branches, will also be former premiership player and coach, Luke O'Toole's 200th senior match for the 'Roos.

The three-time E.G. Hunt Medallist will be one of the home side's key players in another chapter of a rivalry between two of the Mallee's biggest sides.

The 'Roos won their opening match of the season 13 days ago against Wakool, whilst the Maroons went down to Quambatook by 52 points.

Grant Ford's side will be boosted with the return of a number of key players who were missing in the loss to the Saints, with Jake Maher, Jordan Mathews, Andrew Oberdorfer and Ford to be key inclusions.

The battle between Oberdorfer and O'Toole across Nullawil's half-forward line will be one of the key battles of the day, whilst Luke Kelson will need to stop Maroons forward, Kal Heslop from scoring.

Down the other end of the ground, Stephen Lyons will be a key target for the home side, with Brett Barker or Jarrod Kemp to be given the role of stopping the former Tooleybuc/Manangatang spearhead.

Both midfields will be evenly matched, whilst the presence of Arnold Kirby in the ruck will give the home side the edge.

Both teams split the points when they met last year, with the Maroons prevailing by 23 points when the sides last met in July.

PREDICTION: Ultima will go 2-0 with a 20-point win.

Time to bounce back

TWO of the sides who lost by more than 100 points 13 days ago will meet tomorrow, with both teams looking for their first win of season 2017.

Wakool will host Macorna in what will be the first meeting between the sides since round 17, 2015.

The Tigers struggled two weeks ago at Hay, scoring six goals for the match in a 166-point loss.

It was a similar situation for the Hawks, with the club's 136-point loss to Ultima the club's second consecutive three-figure defeat.

Macorna is better placed to give Michael Rowe his first win as a coach, with Ricki Waters, Daniel Edwards and Jesse Lampi all capable of winning the game off their own boot.

The Hawks have struggled in front of goal, especially if Luke Kirkland is nullified by opposition defenders.

Lachlan Allison will be best suited to battle with Kirkland, with Hawk stalwart, Shaun Delamare to be given the role of stopping either Waters or Edwards.

Wakool last defeated Macorna in early 2014, with the Tigers' three-match winning streak against the Hawks to grow tomorrow.

PREDICTION: Macorna will win by 40 points. 

Bombers back in action

IT has been 20 days since Wandella has taken to the field, and tomorrow's trip to Moulamein will be a welcome return to action for last season's semi-finalists.

Paul Grayling's side opened its season on April 1 with a win against Hay, and sit sixth on the ladder locked with Ultima, Hay and Nullawil on four points.

The Bombers go into the match as overwhelming favourites, thanks to a 17-match winning streak against the New South Wales-based side that stems back to the 2008 grand final.

Graying will be one key player Tony Mudge's men will need to stop, with Ben Booth the best suited to stop the spearhead from having a day out in front of goals.

Even if the home side wins this battle, the likes of Sam Sperling and Justin Robinson will be able to step up and dominate, just as they did earlier in the month against Hay.

The midfield battle between the Swans' Tom Isma and Daniel Baker will be one of the battles of the day, whilst Matt Wilkinson and Tim Robinson will be able to shut down Zavia McPhee in front of the home side's goals. 

Wandella won by at least 60 points on each occasions the teams met in 2016. This pattern will be repeated tomorrow.

PREDICTION: Wandella will win by 60 points.

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