Rochester could be without captain Elliot Bowen in its clash against Shepparton United tomorrow.By Luke McManus
Rochester will bank on its impressive run of form when it takes on Shepparton United in the Goulburn Valley Football League’s second elimination final tomorrow.
With a seven-game winning streak, Rochester is the form club ahead of the GVFL finals series and has earned the ‘dark horse’ tag on the back of a fantastic two months of football.
The Tigers have rolled three finals contenders in Kyabram, Tatura and Shepparton Swans, before capping off a great season with a 45-point win against Echuca last weekend.
Up against seasoned finals contender Shepparton United, Rochester will be keen to use Euroa’s Memorial Oval to launch its third consecutive finals appearance in its bid for a semi-final showdown against Kyabram or Benalla.
Tigers coach Peter White played down his club’s hot streak, hinting past results counted for nothing come finals time.
‘‘United are a quality side and no doubt they will have the same goal as us and that’s to win a spot in the semi-final,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s all about concentrating on things from our end just like we’ve done all season
The Tigers’ round nine encounter against the Dees will give White and the playing group added confidence.
Rochester defeated the Demons by 22 points and despite it being the only time the clubs have squared off this season, will not pose a problem, according to White.
‘‘I’ve seen them play a few times, including a tape of their game last week so that’s no issue,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think it’s good or bad only playing them once this year, it really doesn’t matter to us.
‘‘We still beat them with four or five players missing who will be in the side this weekend, so we’re confident of getting a win.’’
A player the Tigers did have was Grant Weeks who starred on the day, booting seven goals.
Rochester’s prized forward injured his knee against Tatura three weeks ago however and has missed the club’s last two weeks of football.
White was confident of Weeks’ return but said the 70-goal forward would be tested at the club’s final training session last night, along with skipper Eliott Bowen (general soreness) and star on-baller James Brain (hamstring) who both failed to train on Tuesday.
Whatever the result, a cracking game should be expected with the only match between the sides this year seeing the Saints triumph by just one point.
That was Rochester’s only loss for the year, while Benalla’s only defeat came at the hands of Shepparton Swans in round eight.
The match starts at 12.05pm.
The Tigerettes will have to turn around a couple of hefty losses to the Bombers during the season, which saw a 37-goal result just two weeks ago.
The game starts at 10.45am.
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