Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Victory is a must for Bushrangers

Murray Bushrangers will be out to slay Sandringham Dragons on Sunday in their elimination final in TAC Cup.

GEORGINA CAHILL August 29, 2014 3:15am

Rennie’s Dan Howe will return to the Bushrangers following a three-week stint with Richmond’s VFL side.

The Murray Bushrangers are set to travel through unchartered waters in their do-or-die TAC Cup elimination final on Sunday.

Not only are the Bushies set to face a new-look Sandringham Dragons outfit, they have not taken to the Visy Park turf this season.

Bushies coach Darren Ogier was disappointed his group did not have the chance to play on the bigger ground prior to the elimination final.

‘‘It would be great to have that experience before Sunday,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘It’s a bit of a shock to their system, it’s such a big ground. We certainly get to play on a lot of big grounds, but (Visy Park) is bigger than any of them.’’

Ogier’s army takes confidence from a thrilling two-point round eight win against the Dragons, but Ogier expected a vastly new-look side to front for Sunday’s clash.

‘‘They’ve got all their private school players back,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘There’s only 11 in that team (from round eight) in the same side on Sunday.’’

The Bushies will be strengthened with the return of Rennie’s Dan Howe.

Howe had a three-week stint in Richmond’s VFL side and will be a huge asset across the forward line.

Coming into his fourth TAC Cup match, Mooroopna’s Jy Simpkin has been outstanding, alongside workhorse Nathan Drummond.

Ogier hoped the Bushies’ potent midfield, led by Mooroopna’s Drummond and Benalla’s Nick Mellington, would go a long way to booking the side a place deep into September.

‘‘We’re certainly going to be in a good position if we can match it with them through the midfield,’’ he said.

‘‘The thing people are underestimating is our midfield group.’’

Seymour’s Josh Schache booted 26 goals in 14 games in the home-and-away season and has stamped his authority as a key forward.

‘‘We’ve got a fairly potent forward line,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘Obviously they need to convert and take as many opportunities as they get. They’re not going to present themselves all day, you’ve got to make the most of the opportunities.’’

The Dragons’ highly rated AFL draft prospect Angus Brayshaw and Josh Clayton, the son of former Fitzroy player Scott Clayton, stand out as the Bushies’ main concerns, while Brayden Maynard is an in-and-under player who can push forward.

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