Echuca United and Moama will play for the 3Jacks trophy at Echuca South Oval today.LUKE MCMANUS April 18, 2014 3:57am
Moama coach Simon Maddox is taking no risks ahead of today’s cross-border showdown with Echuca United.
Maddox highlighted six possible inclusions for today’s highly-anticipated clash at Echuca South Recreation Reserve in an effort to bolster a side fresh from its disappointing season opener against Barooga last week.
The Magpies were humbled by 58 points, dampening a promising pre-season campaign and forcing Maddox to concede ‘‘we may have got ahead of ourselves’’.
Jake Kilmartin, Matt Lynch and Brett Godfrey are among the likely inclusions but the coach stopped short of confirming a final list.
Maddox said some players with their hands up to play had been battling niggling injuries, which would automatically rule them out, including Matt Rickards, who injured himself last week.
Anyone under an injury cloud would be rested and would not be thrown into the deep end for the sake of a big game.
‘‘If they’re not right, they won’t play,’’ Maddox said.
‘‘I’d rather be 0-2 then risk blokes injuring themselves so early in the season.’’
Despite the conservative approach, the hype and significance surrounding the match-up was still an important factor in Moama’s preparations and not lost on Maddox.
The third-year coach is expecting a finals-like intensity against the reigning champion.
‘‘It will be hotter than normal,’’ Maddox said, who played in last season’s Good Friday fixture, which the Eagles won by 72 points to claim the 3Jacks Trophy.
‘‘Players look forward to these games, it provides a taste of what the intensity will be like towards end of the season.’’
A slow start against the Hawks last weekend proved costly, an area which Maddox sought to rectify at training this week along with basic skills errors.
Any lacklustre period against the Eagles could also prove costly, with the home side showing its ability to pull the trigger at any given moment, like in the second and fourth terms against Tongala on Saturday.
Eagles coach Scott Beattie was slightly suspect about the team’s sluggish start against the Blues, but was confident the Eagles’ ideal form would arrive soon enough.
‘‘Our start was concerning,’’ he said.
‘‘But in saying that we had an interrupted pre-season so our guys are still building towards the level of footy we expect of them.
‘‘If we can keep building then we’ll be okay.’’
Beattie said Ricki Waters was a confirmed starter in his return to the club’s senior side, while either Sandy Lawrence and Tyler Lethlean’s spot would depend on match-ups.
A win to the Eagles should top off a special day for its supporters and alike, with the club raising its 2013 premiership flag before the seniors kick off around 2.10pm.
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Nationals leader Peter Walsh are expected to make a significant and long-awaited bridge announcement tomorrow.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
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