Blues’ Demon test

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KERANG’S recent run of playing in top of the Central Murray Football Netball League ladder clashes will continue tomorrow when the Blues travel to Nyah.

The four-time reigning premiers take on an improved Nyah-Nyah West United outfit that is yet to drop a game so far this season.

The Demons have defeated Swan Hill (108 points), Woorinen (22 points) and Balranald (239 points) since the round one bye, with tomorrow’s match the biggest challenge former North Melbourne player, Matt Campbell will have faced as coach.

The Blues have also dominated its opening month of games, with its closest result being a 42-point win at home against the Mallee Eagles in round three.

“Nyah has recruited very well during the pre-season, bringing in players from Darwin, whilst the Campbell brothers (Matt and Joel) play some exciting football,” Kerang co-coach, Troy Coates said.

“Ash Thompson and Matt Curran are playing some good football, whilst the side has a good mix of youth and experience.”

The visitors will make at least one change, with defender Mark Walter out of action for six weeks after injuring his knee in last weekend’s win against the Kangas.

Walter’s absence will mean the likes of Josh Bray and Troy Thamm will need to work harder to stop Adam Sambono – who kicked 10 goals in last weekend’s win – for dominating for the home side.

Brisbane premiership player, Darryl White is another player Coates is wary of, and he may play against the former AFL player.

“For us to win, we need to win the ball from the middle, and hopefully Troy Davis can win the tap outs so our guys can get the ball down to Luke Livingston,” Coates said.

Kerang won on both occasions these sides met last season by at least 50 points, and will be aiming to win its first match at Nyah since last visiting the venue in round 15, 2013.

PREDICTION: Kerang will win by 40 points.

THE Cohuna Kangas will look to bounce back following last weekend’s 97-point loss to reigning Central Murray Football Netball League premiers, Kerang with an upset victory against Lake Boga.

Although the Kangas won on both occasions these sides met last season, a strong pre-season recruiting campaign means the Magpies are a tougher prospect to defeat compared to the team that took to the field in 2015.

Jeremy Gleeson’s men have won two of their opening three games, with the club’s sole loss occurring at Barham against the Raiders.

A win at Cohuna tomorrow will ensure the Magpies are in top five for another week, with a key clash with Nyah-Nyah West United looming before the AFL Victoria Community Championship bye.

The Kangas will have other ideas, with inaccuracy impacting last weekend’s result against the Blues.

If Rick Easton is given freedom in front of the home team’s goal to dominate, an upset result could be possible.

Oliver Rohde will have other ideas, with the defender to go to Easton from the opening bounce.

Rhys Bradley and Kaleb O’Flaherty will need to restrict Cameron Johnson and Adam Quigley in the Magpies’ forward line if the Kangas are to win, whilst the midfield duel between Lake Boga’s Lochlan Dhurrkay and Kangas recruit, Kokwam Niki will be a highlight of the day.

The Kangas won by less than 10 points on each occasion these sides met in 2015, with the Magpies last defeating the competition’s southernmost side in round 12, 2011.

PREDICTION: Lake Boga will win by 40 points.

KOONDROOK/BARHAM will aim to add to its strong recent record against Tooleybuc/Manangatang when the sides meet tomorrow.

The Raiders and Saints have won two games each so far this season, with percentage favouring tomorrow’s hosts.

The Raiders had the bye last weekend, but were too strong for Lake Boga and Tyntynder in the previous fortnight.

As for the Saints, tomorrow’s hosts defeated the Bulldogs by 112 points last weekend, despite missing the likes of reigning Jack Betts Medallist, Nyaburu Kelly, Hayden Walters, Joel Cullen and Jack Spinks.

Both sides boast players that can turn the game their team’s way when needed, with the ruck duel between Saints stalwart, Ryan O’Sullivan and Raiders recruit, Rhett Sutton to be one of the highlights.

If O’Sullivan can get the ball to Kelly and into the home team’s forward line, where the likes of Darcy Spinks and Stephen Lyons will be waiting, the Saints will be on the way to victory.

Yet if Sutton can unite with Tom May to get the ball to Daniel Mowat and Jake Hare, the Raiders will add a fourth-consecutive win against the Saints.

Blake Chant and Jay Reynolds will be asked to take on Lyons and Spinks, with Mowat and Hare to face defensive pressure from Kayne McAlpine and James Summerhayes.

The Raiders defeated the Saints by four points in round one last year, with victories by 28 points and 26 points occurring respectively in round 12, 2015 and the elimination final.

PREDICTION: Koondrook/Barham will hold on for a 12-point win.

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