Murray Bushrangers hit the road tomorrow on a mission to try and pull the rug out from under Dandenong Stingrays.DAMEN FRANCIS July 4, 2014 3:10am
Murray Bushrangers regain overage state representatives Nathan Drummond and Kieran Ellis for their toughest road trip of the season this weekend.
The Bushrangers travel to Shepley Oval to take on Dandenong Stingrays in round 13 of TAC Cup, on the back of a six-day break.
It represents a major challenge for the young Bushrangers outfit, which is still without nine stars that pulled on the boots for NSW-ACT or Victoria Country at Wednesday’s final round of the AFL Under-18 Championships, as well as captain Nick Mellington, who plays VFL for Richmond.
‘‘They’ve got some talent and all their private school kids back as well as half-a-dozen Vic Country kids,’’ Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier said.
‘‘It’s a big road trip and a good home-ground advantage for them. It’s a small, tight ground and they play it well.
‘‘It’s a big game, but we want to play them at their best, so it’s a good challenge.’’
Drummond and Ellis played for Country and NSW-ACT respectively on Friday and Saturday last week, but were left out on Wednesday, freeing them up for a TAC Cup return.
Their availability is a major boost for the travelling side, in terms of their ability and leadership.
The Bushrangers lose Jay O’Donoghue and Julius Battista to a compulsory week off for concussion and named an extended squad of 26 that was due to be cut down last night.
A hard-fought two-goal win against Northern Knights last week kept the Bushrangers in touch with the top eight and within a game of Western Jets in fourth and the fifth-placed Stingrays.
Dave Mennen, Jake Marshall, Marty Brennan and Brody Webster had 22 possessions each in the win, while debutant Levi Middleton (seven tackles), Shaun Mannagh (seven), Connor Brown (six) and Tom Nihill (six) were brilliant with their pressure without the ball.
‘‘Our effort last week was pretty good. We’ve got to make that count and back that up this week and that’s the challenge for young players,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘We’re buoyant from last week and about our chances.’’
Benalla’s Caleb Marchbank finished with 13 disposals with 77 per cent efficiency in Country’s loss to Western Australia on Wednesday night, including nine contested possessions and three tackles.
Rennie’s Dan Howe had nine touches at a disposal efficiency of 89 per cent, but had a good enough impact on the game to be named in Country’s best.
Howe hurt a foot and will be assessed before he returns to TAC Cup duty next week.
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.
Wemba Wemba, Ngandjon-jji and Yorta Yorta man Clayton Murray-Mitchell is planning a two-day festival in Moama featuring Archie Roach and Kevin Kropinyeri.
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.
Cobram Barooga Cycling Club president takes his talents on teh world stage for masters competition.
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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