BENALLA V EUROA
Euroa will be out to consolidate its place in the top six and keep the pressure up on the top 3 teams on the table when it makes the short trip down the highway to take on Benalla.
The Magpies come into this contest off the back of a comfortable win in the first part of the split round against Shepparton while the Saints were no match for the rampaging Kyabram also on the first part of the split round.
Benalla will need to find some avenues to goal after Josh Mellington was issued a six-week ban following the defeat to Kyabram.
Former Carlton and North Melbourne forward Jarrod Waite is likely to return to the line-up after missing the Kyabram game.
James Martiniello, Christopher Welsh, Tom Bennett, Jordan Wolff and Samuel Harris will be some of the Saints looking to try and help turnaround the team’s fortunes after the 128-point loss to Kyabram.
Euroa is likely to welcome a few back that missed the win over Shepparton.
They are still likely to have a couple out due to being overseas on holidays, so they will look to Will Hayes, Jacob Gleeson, Andrew Smith, Ryan Pendlebury and Jett Trotter to lead the way to ensure they bank another four points.
SHEPPARTON V MOOROOPNA
Mooroopna will be looking to build on its win from last week when it takes on the ever-improving Shepparton.
The Bears will be looking to get back on the winners’ list after going down to the Pies in round 11 while the Cats were too strong for Tatura.
That said, Cats’ coach John Lamont will be hoping his chargers can dish up a four-quarter effort after playing well in parts against the Bulldogs.
They are still chasing their best version.
Shepparton will turn to Tyron Baden, Bryce Stephenson, Trent Herbert, Lewis McShane and Edward Lindon to lead the way to give them a chance of causing an upset.
The Cats will look to Bryce Rutherford, inaugural Garry Cooper Medallist Isaac Dowling, Liam Betson, Ben Woods, Christopher Nield and Jackson Trengove to continue their good form to ensure they bank another four points to take another step towards playing finals.
Shepparton will give a good account of itself, but I am just not sure they have the firepower to kick a winning score against the visitors.
KYABRAM V ROCHESTER
Rochester will be buoyed by its second win of the season which helped them off the foot of the table last round.
They will be hoping to give a good account of themselves against one of the powerhouse teams of 2023.
It won’t be easy as the 2019 premier will be refreshed and raring to go after a big win against the Saints last round.
Kyle Mueller, Zachary Norris, Thomas Holman, Kaine Herbert, Liam Ogden and Brad Mangan were strong contributors for the Bombers who showed no mercy to kick 13.11 in the last quarter in their win over the Saints to run out 128-point winners.
VFL mid-season recruit Dylan Gordon starred in the stirring win over the Swans, while Joseph Atley, Reid Gordon, Sean Williams and Grant Fuller were important as the Tigers finished over the top of the Swans.
They know they will need to play well and bring their team-mates on their back to be any chance of a upset win.
MANSFIELD V SEYMOUR
This is a massive game for Mansfield.
The Eagles have lost their past two matches to Kyabram and Echuca.
And, this contest won’t be easy against another of the competition’s best teams.
Out-going coach Chad Owens knows they need to claim a scalp to be considered more than a number in the top six in 2023.
He will turn to Dirk Koenen, Ben Christopher, Tom Dunstan, Harry Mahoney, Brett Mahoney and Cody George to lead the way and take the game to the visiting Lions.
The Lions will turn to Riley Mason, Jack O’Sullivan, Jack Murphy, Nathan Fowler and Ben Cooney to ensure the visitors continue on their winning way.
SHEPPARTON SWANS V SHEPPARTON UNITED
This is a real 50-50 contest.
It could go either way, similar to when these teams clashed early in the season where the Swans got on top of the Demons in the second half to run out winners.
Both come into the round off the back of defeats – United by 8 goals to Seymour and the Swans to Rochester by 2 goals.
For the two coaches, the back half of the season is about small wins.
And, there won’t be too many opportunities for them to get too many more wins.
Kyle Clarke, Jayden Magro, Sheldon Bogdan, Marcus Wattie and Mitchell Roche will be important for the Demons if they are to record their third win of the season.
The Swans will look to Bowen Calogero, Quade Johnstone, Zac Banch, Will Dwyer and Isaiah Jones to lead them to a third win of 2023.
Tip: Shepparton Swans.
TATURA V ECHUCA
Tatura will get an opportunity to demonstrate how far it has come under first year coach Paul Barnard.
When these teams clashed on the opening day of the season it was the reigning premier by over 100 points.
The Bulldogs have shown plenty of improvement since that game and have managed three wins, but separate to that they have been competitive most weeks.
Comanche Walls, Mitchell Elliott, Andrew Ciavarella, Mathew Cornwall and Chris Ryan were the players to shine in their defeat to Mooroopna last round.
If they can continue that form and curb the influence of the likes of Jackson Stewart, Cameron Valentine, Samuel Reid, Will Monahan (four goals) and Cooper Willoughby, then they should be able to give a good account of themselves.
In a positive for the Murray Bombers they had 9 different goalkickers in their six-goal win over Mansfield coupled with the return of premiership coach Andrew Walker who played his first game in about six weeks.