Benalla and Mooroopna have plenty to play for

By Tyler Maher

Benalla and Mooroopna may be at opposite ends of the Goulburn Valley League table, but they have plenty to play for tomorrow.

The Saints, who are currently in third spot, can still snare a double chance with a strong finish to the regular season, while the Cats have pride on the line as they look to build a winning culture.

Both sides had the most recent weekend of football off, but it was mostly business as usual at Benalla Showgrounds — the scene of tomorrow’s round 16 clash.

The Saints went into the bye on the back of a crucial victory against Euroa and will look to make it two wins on the trot against the Cats.

‘‘Training was pretty much as normal, we did freshen up a bit,’’ Benalla playing coach Luke Morgan said.

‘‘It was a good win, but we probably didn’t play our best footy. We want to play some good footy and get some consistent form going.

‘‘To win all three (remaining games) could still open up second spot for us and we’ll be giving our best and trying to get some good form going.

‘‘We’ll have three games in 15 days as of Saturday, so it will go pretty quickly and then we’ll be at the finals, so it’s important to be playing well.’’

Brody Webster, Lachie Thompson and Charlie Morrison stood out for the Saints against the Magpies, but there are plenty of stars ready to come into the line-up.

‘‘Pat Warner will be available, the (Murray) Bushrangers have a bye,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘Tom Bennett will return from injury and Jack Spinks is knocking down the door for his first senior game of the year. Marcus O’Brien and James Martiniello are also around the mark as well.

‘‘(Mooroopna) are really competitive, so our boys need to play some good football, because if we don’t they’ll take it right up to us.’’

For the Cats, matches against the Saints, Tatura and Echuca to finish the season could provide a platform for success next year.

‘‘We enjoyed the break, we had a bit of fun on the track and tried a few different things,’’ Mooroopna coach Dale Osborne said.

‘‘One of the things that we’d been doing well was sticking to the game plan and crossing the Ts and dotting the Is and the Euroa game was the perfect example of that (where the Cats went down by four points).

‘‘We’ve got three good teams left to play this year so we need to have 12 good quarters, there’s a lot of work in front of us.

‘‘I’m hoping that they can play four quarters of footy and make sure the effort and attitude is right when we go over there (to Benalla).

‘‘That will play a large part in how we go in the last part of the season.’’

Osborne will look to his senior players to lead the way against the Saints.

‘‘The leaders of the group I’m wanting a lot out of in the last few games,’’ he said.

‘‘Rob (Osborne), Ash Hockey, Trent Freer, Aaron French and Clint Riley, those sort of blokes need to really stand up and show the rest how to go about it.’’