Rochester will put its best midfield line-up on the park tomorrow when it tries to reverse its round three loss against Tatura.By Marc McGowan
The statistics told a brutal story last time reigning premier Tatura played Rochester.
The Bulldogs had 16 more scoring shots in their 31-point win, where they also claimed contested possessions (63-39), centre clearances (22-8), total clearances (52-25) and inside-50s (51-28).
It was an old-fashioned smackdown, but changes have occurred at Tigerland since that lopsided round three encounter.
Clearance specialist Daniel Anderson, who arrived from South Bendigo in the off-season with a fearsome reputation, is two matches into his Rochester career.
Peter White’s Tigers will unveil their first-choice midfield brigade for the first time this season when they host Tatura at Moon Oval tomorrow.
Ash Watson, back from an Achilles complaint, will join the likes of Anderson, James Brain, Brady Green, Dean Moon and Nick Knight in a star-studded rotation.
Sam Vale (hamstring) also returns.
‘‘We’ve improved a lot in that (midfield) area and we’ve worked a lot on it,’’ coach White said.
‘‘(Ruckman) Sam Brennan is back in the team now and has worked his way into fitness, Dan Anderson also complements that area and Ben McPhee is going through there now.
‘‘That’s where it’s going to be won — around the stoppages — and if we can hold our own in the centre and give our forwards first use of it, we have Grant Weeks and Luke Gestier in really good form.’’
Weeks and Gestier combined for at least 10 goals for the fifth time this season last round against Shepparton.
The Bulldogs are more capable than most of restricting that duo, with Tom Miller and Tom Durward in line for Weeks and one of Jayden Young and Chris Ryan set for Gestier.
Tatura has a clean bill of health, with interleague big man Paul Kirby (leg infection) a definite senior starter and fellow premiership players Leigh Owen, Billy Lovel and Rhodes Cousland in line for either senior or reserves duty.
Bulldogs coach Scott Grigg said his side, which has lost two of its past three games, was capable of producing a similar performance to the last clash between the teams.
‘‘When we get our offensive traits in the right marriage with our defensive traits, we’re capable of winning games and winning them well, as we did against Seymour,’’ Grigg said.
‘‘But against Benalla we let ourselves down in a couple of areas and that cost us the game.
‘‘We’ve identified as a group we want to build some momentum from the break we’ve had from here on in until the finals and it starts this week.’’
White named Victoria Country speedster Brendon Hollow as Tatura’s midfield barometer, but was also wary of Bulldogs skipper Linc Wellington.
A male allegedly armed with a hunting knifed stole cash from a Euroa McDonald's last night.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Sarah Beck is taking her family to New York after she won a trip for being the second highest fundraiser for the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in October's Melbourne Marathon.
Rochester’s old Courthouse is undergoing a facelift thanks to a restoration grant.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Students from St Mary's College were presented with awards for academic and sporting achievement and leadership.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Australian sporting legends are at Heathcote Golf Club this morning for the MS Ashes Trek golf day to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Cobram Barooga Apex Club have raised more than $3600 for Irvin House at Cobram District Health.
An 89-run victory has extended the Cannons leads on the DDCA ladder, while second-placed side Hay pumped Juniors.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.
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