There will be no second chances for Murray Bushrangers when they confront Western Jets on Sunday.By Damen Francis
A 63-point loss to Western Jets in round eight proved a turning point in Murray Bushrangers’ season.
The Bushrangers went on to win four of their next five games in a run that laid the platform for a finals appearance.
However, there will be no second chances if the Bushrangers put in a repeat performance in Sunday’s TAC Cup elimination final at Princes Park.
While a fighting final-round win against Northern Knights secured them a finals berth, the Jets slipped to fifth courtesy of a 59-point hiding by Sandringham Dragons.
Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier was hopeful the contrasting fortunes of last week would prove a factor on Sunday.
‘‘Hopefully their confidence is down a bit,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘No doubt they’ll be trying to change it around as quickly as they can, but it has to be down a little, so hopefully we can keep it down by putting them under pressure and hurting them on the scoreboard.’’
The Bushrangers have been boosted by the return of overage triumvirate Joe Cousins, Matt Brett and Jydon Neagle, along with gun on-baller BJ Squire.
Also working in the Bushrangers’ favour is an injury to 200
The unavailability of 16-year-old Seymour forward Josh Schache means the Bushrangers won’t stretch the Jets’ defence as much as it could, while fellow key position players James Martyn and Mitchell Mahady were among four players omitted.
Ogier still felt the two sides matched up well and his troops would try to use the big ground to their advantage and run the Jets off their feet.
‘‘They’ve got a couple of tall key players, a couple of centimetres taller than ours, but we’ve got a height advantage with Maxy King down forward, which will hopefully help us out somewhat there,’’ he said.
‘‘They’re pretty good inside. They’ve got some quality midfielders and a couple of athletic talls.
‘‘They’ve also got some elite kicks in their side, so we’re going to have to make sure that we continue to put those ball carriers under pressure.’’
Chief among those high quality-ball users is James Sicily, whose creative influence Ogier will want to limit.
But with the likes of Jarman Impey and Nick Holman raring to go, the Bushrangers boast match-winners of their own.
‘‘Finals is a totally different ball game as we know and hopefully they can step up another gear as we need them to,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘We want everyone to play their role and what some of those boys bring to the table is pretty special and if they can play at their best on the day, that’s certainly going to go a long way to us having a successful day.’’
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