Shepparton's Julius Battista will make his Murray Bushrangers debut tomorrow against North Ballarat Rebels after impressing coach Darren Ogier on the training track.DAMEN FRANCIS June 13, 2014 3:15am
Shepparton’s Julius Battista will make his TAC Cup debut when Murray Bushrangers host a red-hot North Ballarat Rebels at Highgate Recreation Reserve, Craigieburn tomorrow.
‘‘Julius has shown himself to be a composed and competent character on the training track and (Shepparton senior coach) Brad (Campbell) has certainly been with him,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘He’ll start in the back half, but he’s a bit of a swingman, so that’s a good thing about Julius.’’
Battista is the Bushrangers’ 23rd man.
The Bushrangers also welcome back Victoria Country forward Josh Schache and Lavington hard nut Brydan Hodgson.
Deniliquin Rams livewire Jake Marshall misses out through concussion, while Benalla’s Brody Webster and Finley’s Al Clarke have been omitted.
David Mennen, Caleb Marchbank and Dan Howe are in Western Australia on Victoria Country duty.
Ogier said Vic Country’s rotation policy was his side’s gain this weekend.
‘‘I saw Josh play on the weekend and he was super. He’s a bottom age player and he’s getting more confidence in himself and his intensity and presence is growing, so it’s good to have him back,’’ he said.
Craigieburn hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Bushrangers this season — they are yet to win a game in two visits to their home away from home — and Ogier said it was important they got to grips with the ground.
‘‘We’ve got quite a few games coming up there, so it’s important we turn that around,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a big ground, with big open spaces and we need to start using that and defending it better as well.’’
The Rebels booted 20 goals straight after half-time to thrash Sandringham Dragons by 89 points last time out to boot the Bushrangers out of the top eight.
The Bushrangers fought the good fight against top side Oakleigh Chargers, but left empty handed.
They got the better of the Rebels at Queen Elizabeth Oval in round four, but Ogier said that result counted for little come tomorrow.
‘‘Team make-up changes quite regularly in this competition, but a lot of their personnel is the same,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘A lot of what they’re doing well is effort-based stuff and that’s what we need to do.
‘‘We won 60 per cent of our (key performance indicators) last round, so we played well, but we didn’t win, so we’re going to have to put them under a lot of pressure and hopefully their game of the millennium from two weeks ago is behind them.’’
In more bad news, Cobram’s Tom Mogg will also miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
The lock-down defender suffered the injury playing for Xavier College in his first game back from a strained pectoral muscle and, while at first it seemed innocuous, further testing revealed a damaged anterior cruciate ligament.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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