Murray Bushrangers have cut down on their talls in a bid to match up with Gippsland Power when they face off this weekend.DAMEN FRANCIS April 4, 2014 4:20am
Murray Bushrangers have down-sized in a bid to match it with tomorrow’s TAC Cup opponent Gippsland Power.
The Bushrangers travel to Highgate Recreation Reserve in Craigieburn to meet the Power halfway, having made four changes to the side that fell across the line after dominating for three quarters against Bendigo Pioneers at Deakin Reserve last week.
Two are forced, with Allister Clarke (shins) and Henry Peni (hamstring) injured, but Dion Metzner and Will Carlile have been sacrificed for a smaller side.
‘‘A couple of boys are really unfortunate to miss out, a lot of it is match-up stuff,’’ Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier said.
‘‘(Gippsland) are quite a lot smaller and more of a running team. We had nine blokes over 190
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‘‘We’re hoping Alex can give us first use. He’ll share the ruck duties, Isaac (Muller) was terrific last week, and we’ve got the luxury of hopefully having them both with some run in their legs late in the game,’’ Ogier said.
Peni and Clarke are not expected to be out long-term, while Benalla pair David Mennen and Nick Mellington were cleared of any injuries.
Mennen passed a fitness test on his ankle and Mellington pulled up well, despite struggling through the last quarter last week.
The skipper was not alone in limping past the post, as the Bushrangers almost let slip a 41-point three-quarter time lead against a rampaging Pioneers, only to win by eight points in hot conditions.
The players underwent an extra recovery session on Monday and Ogier was hopeful the full seven-day break would ensure his side was better equipped to run out four quarters this weekend against a notoriously competitive Power outfit.
‘‘You know you’ve got to earn every kick against Gippsland, they’re just fierce competitors on the whole,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘It’s a trait of the footy down that way and you certainly know you’ve played a game.
‘‘They work really hard, rebound really hard and play a completely different style; it’s a lot quicker, with a lot more handball and they try to break the lines open that way.
‘‘We’re going to have to be on our game over the full four quarters and that’s probably the key.’’
That and the tall forward line that, for the most part, functioned superbly last week.
‘‘The opposition aren’t that tall, so if we can get it in quick and direct to our talls we’re going to be half a chance,’’ Ogier said.
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