Round 8 Previews
DIVISION 1 with JASON BARBIN
The season continues and as we go into Round 8 it's make or break for teams trying to finish in the top 5.
East Brighton vs Clayton
East Brighton host Clayton in a game that sees 4th spot on the ladder up for grabs. The Vampires really hit their straps last week so look for them to continue that form. Clayton have been solid in putting together good team performances and they will give a good showing against the Vampires.
East Brighton by 27 points.
St Pauls vs Highett
The battle of the dogs takes place at McKinnon Reserve this week and it looks like it could be a one dog affair as the St Pauls juggernaut rolls on. Highett have struggled this season and just haven’t looked like kicking a winning score. Expect them to struggle again this week.
St Pauls by 49 points.
St Kilda City vs Dingley
A must win game for the Saints as they tackle a Dingley side determined to get back on the winners list after suffering their first defeat of the season last week. Though still too early to tell, a loss here for the Saints and finals might be out of reach. Big game.
Dingley by 14 points.
Heatherton vs East Malvern
Potentially the game of the round, these two sides match up in what should be a pretty good contest. Heatherton have improved greatly on their early season form and will be itching for a win. East Malvern have been disappointing the last few weeks and a loss here could spell trouble.
Heatherton by 5 points.
Chelsea Heights vs Cheltenham
Two teams quietly going about their business meet in a Round 8 clash that looms as an important one for the Rosellas. They have a chance to jump into 4th position with a win and with a full forward that is on fire and a midfield that is just starting to show their potential they could cause an upset here. Game of the round and will be a close one.
Chelsea Heights by 2 points.
DIVISION 2 with THE FOOTY TRAGIC
Bentleigh vs Caulfield
Bentleigh will be hurting from last week, playing poorly and losing top spot on the ladder. Caulfield couldn’t be taking the trip to Bentleigh at a worse time. I expect Bentleigh to bounce back into form and should be much too good for the Bears.
South Yarra vs Hampton
On last week’s form this is a no brainer. Hampton were giant killers last week and South Yarra have no giants for Hampton to worry about. My only concern is Hampton's topsy turvy form, and if South Yarra can kick a similar score to last week they may well be shock winners. I’ll stick with Hampton though to win this.
Murrumbeena vs Oakleigh District
Two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have given Murrumbeena a chance to win this, home ground advantage and all, but Oakleigh struggled on a small ground again last week to suffer their second loss for the season, and Murrumbeena’s ground is certainly no MCG-like size. Murrumbeena played like champs last week, Oakleigh more like chumps. Oakleigh will bounce back, good teams always do, but I think Murrumbeena will win this.
Springvale Districts vs Mordialloc
This shapes up as the match of the round. It is certainly the hardest to find a winner and I reckon it will be less than a kick in it at the end. Both teams are sitting on 5 and 2, both have lost games they shouldn’t have. I think when in doubt, go for the home ground advantage, hence I’ll tip Springvale Districts for that reason, and that reason only.
Moorabbin vs Skye
Last game this week sees Moorabbin take on Skye. Skye were disappointing last week whilst Moorabbin won away from home and will give them much needed confidence for this week. Skye will be a lot harder opposition for them however, but I still think Moorabbin to upset the Bombers here.
DIVISION 3 with 'GOOD' WILL HUNTER
Carrum Patterson Lakes and Sandown kick off Round 8 with an important clash at Roy Dore Reserve. The Cobras have been very hot and cold this season and need a win to keep touch with the top five. The Lions have been quite impressive winning three of their past four matches and have only lost once at home this season. There is no doubt Sandown at their best can win this, but their inconsistency means I can’t tip them with any confidence. Carrum Patterson Lakes in a tight one.
Ashwood are another side in desperate need of a big win to rejuvenate their finals aspirations. They travel to McDonald Reserve to take on the struggling Black Rock, who has won just one match from their first seven. On form it’s hard to see the Jets getting near the Magpies, who should win comfortably and receive a much-needed boost to their meagre percentage.
Over at Barry Powell Reserve, Lyndale hosts Mount Waverley. The Pumas returned to the winners’ circle last Saturday after consecutive defeats while the Mountain Lions are absolutely flying and seem to be winning with effortless ease. Lyndale play their home track very well and I reckon they can take the fight right up to their more fancied opponents. But I just can’t see an upset happening here. Mount Waverley should be too good and will remain unbeaten for another week.
The winless Endeavour Hills, coming off another heavy defeat, face Dandenong at Barry Simon Reserve. The Redlegs are in good form coming into this game, with just one defeat (to Mount Waverley) from their last six matches. Unfortunately, the Falcons’ string of losses will continue as I expect Dandenong will win this pretty convincingly.
The last game is Doveton versus Hallam at Power Reserve. The ladder leaders have been unstoppable this season and have lost just once at home since 2011. Another big win is on the cards here for the Eagles.
UNDER 19s with 'GOOD' WILL HUNTER
Hampton has a chance to turn it around at the Toolbox this week when they take on Clayton. This will be a cracking game with the Magpies enjoying the bye after their first win two weeks ago. The Hammers haven’t tasted victory for a while, and will be viewing this match as a massive opportunity. They always seem to play well at home and on that basis I’m tipping Hampton to get up in a thriller.
Chelsea Heights have now lost two in a row and will be keen to avoid a third straight defeat when they meet Bentleigh at Beazley Reserve. But the Demons are in ripping form and with their big guns playing some excellent footy they should win this.
Over at the Hangar is the big clash between Skye and Dingley. The Dingoes are starting to hit a purple patch; however, the Bombers are looking a class above the rest and will remain undefeated for another week.
Finally, St Pauls play Carrum Patterson Lakes at McKinnon Reserve. I think CPL will be competitive, though the Doggies will be too strong for them.