THE Cohuna Kangas can continue to build on their strong start to the Central Murray Football Netball League season with a win tomorrow against Tooleybuc/Manangatang.
The Kangas and the Mallee Eagles are the only two sides to have won both their opening round matches, and a win at Tooleybuc tomorrow could see Scott Beattie's side move to top spot on the ladder if the Eagles lose at Swan Hill.
Beattie continues to lead the way for the competition's southernmost side in its forward line, having kicked seven goals from his past two games.
This included a four-goal haul in last weekend's 22-point win against Balranald, with the coach pairing well with fellow key forward, Harrison Keely.
If the pair can control their match-ups against Ben Arentz and John Wardle, the visitors will be on track to match their unbeaten start during the three weeks of the season for a second consecutive year.
Tom Toma continues to lead the way for the Kangas in the middle of the ground, with his battle against Luke Davies to be a highlight, whilst Christopher Anderson's ruck duel with Saints' tall, Brenton Chislett will be just as critical to the result.
However, if Zachary Peake can dominate the game like he did in his four-goal effort in the Saints' opening round against Koondrook/Barham, the hosts have the potential to cause an upset.
The Kangas have not defeated Tooleybuc/Manangatang since 2013, with the Saints' six-point win at the Cohuna Recreation Reserve in June one of two victories the club recorded in 2017.
PREDICTION: The Cohuna Kangas will win by 20 points.
Brennan not a concern
THE prospect of facing a side boasting a former Australian Football League forward in it will not deter six-time Central Murray Football Netball League premiers, Kerang from adding another win to its growing undefeated streak.
The Blues played their first match of the season last weekend, defeating Tooleybuc/Manangatang by 61 points to move the club's undefeated run to 12 victories and a no result since early June last year.
The home win was overshadowed by Nyah-Nyah West United's announcement of securing the services of former Brisbane and Gold Coast player, Jared Brennan, with the forward kicking two goals in the Demons' 38-point loss to Koondrook/Barham.
Brennan will be one of the hosts' players Travis Matheson's men will need to stop if the Blues can add a fourth consecutive victory against the club.
Patrick Taban and Joshua Nitschke will work together to stop Brennan and fellow Demons forward, Joseph Abdulla from leading the way in the hosts' forward line.
However, for the ball to get that far down the ground, Joel Campbell and Calen Dobbin will need to stop Kerang's strong on-ball unit of Ryan Gillingham, Brad Pay and Marty Kelly from dominating proceedings.
If Kerang's midfielders and ruckman, Troy Davis control the play, expect Luke Cotchett and Caleb Nitschke to be too strong for the hosts' defenders, led by Alex Erlandson.
Kerang last lost to Nyah-Nyah West United during the first half of the 2016 season, with the side claiming three wins since then.
PREDICTION: Kerang will win by 30 points.
Raiders aim for consecutive wins
KOONDROOK/BARHAM will aim to inflict a second consecutive loss on last season's Central Murray Football Netball League grand finalists, Woorinen tomorrow.
The Raiders go into tomorrow's match with added confidence following a 38-point win against 2017 elimination finalists, Nyah-Nyah West United six days ago, and it could be the club's new key forward that does the damage again.
Cameron Arnold kicked seven goals in the Raiders' home win last weekend, whilst the Tigers' defenders – led by Kyle Steicke – struggled to contain Mallee Eagles key recruit, Saad Saad, with the forward kicking nine goals in the Tigers' 53-point loss last weekend.
If Arnold repeats his effort again tomorrow, the Raiders could claim the club's first victory at the ground since the opening round of the 2011 season.
However, the Raiders will need to be just as wary in their defensive 50, with Glenn Boyd coming off a five-goal effort last weekend for the Tigers.
Matthew Dean and Phil Smith will work to stop the Tigers spearhead, whilst the midfield battle between returning Raiders player, Jacob Barrington and Corey Kelly will be a highlight.
Woorinen won by at least six goals when the sides met on both occasions this year, but the margin will be much closer tomorrow.
PREDICTION: Woorinen's class will help the hosts win by 20 points.
Showdown at Swan Hill
THE Mallee Eagles will aim to remain on top of the Central Murray Football Netball League ladder tomorrow with a win against Swan Hill.
The Eagles – led by a nine-goal effort from star recruit, Saad Saad last weekend – recorded a 53-point win against Woorinen six days ago, whilst the Swans' last match on April 14 produced a 21-point loss to the Tigers.
In what is a rematch of last season's first semi-final, the Swans will need to control play in the middle of the ground if the club is to record a second consecutive win against the Lalbert-based side.
Austin Mertz, Matthew Wade and Xavier Moloney need to get on top of Steven Boyall and Boden Alexander if this is the case, whilst Eagles defenders, Tom McGregor and Dominic Makur must get on top of the Swans mobile forward line – led by Xavier Mertz and Mitchell Makepeace – if the side is to remain undefeated.
However, the key player in this match is Saad, who faces a duel with Thomas Corridan, with the victor of this battle to be on the winning side come 5pm tomorrow.
PREDICTION: The Mallee Eagles will win by 20 points.
• IN the weekend's other match, Tyntynder will look to keep its perfect season going with an away win at Balranald.
The Bulldogs defeated Lake Boga by five points last weekend, with the 'Roos going down to the Cohuna Kangas by 22 points.
Lake Boga has the bye before a May 5 visit to Kerang.