KERANG'S undefeated start to the 2017 Central Murray Football Netball League season will receive another test tomorrow when the Blues host Nyah-Nyah West United in a rematch of the 2016 grand final.
The Blues go into the match on the back of wins against Woorinen and Balranald in the opening fortnight of the season, whilst the Demons held on against Swan Hill in round one before losing to the Cohuna Kangas 13 days ago.
Travis Matheson's side will go into the match as favourites, thanks to a stable line-up that boasts multiple goalkicking and playmaking options.
Matheson and utility, Brandon Hayes both kicked six goals in the Blues' last outing – a 117-point win at Balranald – and will be major contributors tomorrow.
The Kerang coach and Troy Thamm will face a battle with Adrian Knee and Alex Erlandson, who may relinquish his forward role to nullify the home team's attacking options.
Troy Coates and Martin Kelly will be pivotal to the Blues' midfield drive, with Joel Campbell and Corey Daniels just as critical for the visitors.
Hayes may return to the half-back line to give Josh Nitschke and Lachlan Baber assistance in the Demons' forward 50, with Matthew Curran and Darryl White – who missed Nyah-Nyah West United's loss to the Kangas – to be key targets if Erlandson plays in defence.
Kerang has won its past two meetings against the Demons, with the last meeting being the Blues' 39-point win in the 2016 grand final.
PREDICTION: Kerang will win by 30 points.
Raiders face Tiger challenge
KOONDROOK/BARHAM'S credentials as a Central Murray Football Netball League finals challenger will be tested tomorrow when the Raiders host one of the competition's top sides.
The Raiders take on Woorinen in a battle involving two sides who hold a 1-1 record.
Neil Bradley's side went down to Tyntynder by 53 points 13 days ago, whilst the Tigers bounced back from an opening round loss to Kerang to record an 11-point win against the Mallee Eagles.
This match will see some of the competition's most exciting midfielders battle against one another.
The home side will look to Patrick Goble and Troy Rogers to gather the ball and provide forward 50 entries, but will face the challenge of playing against Tim Mosquito and William Watson, who both played well in the Tigers' round one loss to Kerang.
Dean Limbach looms as a key player for the hosts, thanks to 10 goals in his first two games for the border side, but will need to battle Kyle Steicke to have a similar impact tomorrow.
Down the other end of the ground, Doug Palmer and Doug Beams will be pivotal forwards for the Tigers, with Matthew Dean and Michael Grant needing to play well to give the home side a chance of going 2-1 after three rounds.
The Raiders have won their past two matches against the Tigers, with the sole meeting between both sides in 2016 ending in a 16-point victory to the border side.
PREDICTION: Woorinen will win by 30 points.
Kangas aiming to remain undefeated
THE Cohuna Kangas will look to continue their strong start to the Central Murray Football Netball League season tomorrow with a win against Lake Boga.
The Kangas have produced victories against Balranald and Nyah-Nyah West United in the opening fortnight of action, with the side second on the ladder going into the Easter break.
It is a different situation for the Magpies, who went down to Swan Hill by 81 points in their only match of the year so far.
Kangas coach, Scott Beattie promised a back to basics approach for the season, which is already reaping benefits.
Harrison Keely continues to be a strong presence up forward for the competition's southernmost side, and the addition of Brett Collins is making the pair one of the league's formidable goalkicking duos.
Adam Quigley and Oliver Rohde will be given the task of shutting the pair down, but Beattie and others will be able to head forward and provide the home side with other scoring options.
In the middle of the ground, Rhys Bradley and Jack Dehne will be the home side's major playmakers, with Kyle Brawn and Kyle Lonergan needing to be best on ground for the Magpies to have any chance of recording their first win of season 2017.
If Brawn and Lonergan get on top in the midfield, it will make things easier for Caylan Lyons and Cody Mirtschin to score, but the Lake Boga pair will receive a test from Kangas defenders Mason Fehring and Clayton Holmes.
The Kangas won by an average of 40 points on the two occasions these sides met in 2016, with the Magpies last defeating tomorrow's hosts in round 12, 2011.
PREDICTION: The Cohuna Kangas will win by 40 points.