Rovers look to beat the odds

By Jamie Lowe

Deni Rovers coach Josh Bode is confident his side can continue their against-all-odds run to the Picola & District League grand final.

They must pass a most difficult test on Saturday at Strathmerton.

The Rovers must get past arguably the most difficult test in the league when facing Waaia at Strathmerton tomorrow.

The Bombers have lost just once this season and hits the preliminary final well-rested and having won 10 consecutive games.

The Roos have their own streak of eight wins in a row, and will look to reverse the result against the Bombers from the last time they met - where Waaia managed an 11 point win.

"The feeling around the club is great at the moment," Bode said.

"It's no higher or lower than it has been over the last month.

"It's just business as usual for us. We've had a laid back feeling and we're just excited for another challenge.

"Our mantra at the moment is that it's all about us. We need to do the things we're good at like keeping the pressure up and working hard all day.

Waaia have consistently churned out wins for a second straight year — although no player on the Waaia list will need reminding as to what happened at this same stage last season.

Having not lost a game all season, the Bombers led all day against Rennie before losing a thriller by a single point, something they will be desperate to make amends for on Saturday.

They were certainly tested in their first final against Katamatite, winning by 19 points after trailing at each of the first three breaks.

Reigning Pearce medallist Ash Thompson looked in wicked form, dominating and kicking two goals, and he will be vital for Waaia along with Sam Richardson, Jesse Trower, Mitch Cleeland, Mark Meyland and Charlie Burrows.

Meanwhile, the game plan for the Rovers after a 20-point upset of Berrigan is simple — keep it rolling.

Bode’s side, which will need big performances from consistent stars like Djaran Whyman, Andrew May, Josh Flight and James Gilligan, showed its versatility last weekend to shut the Saints down.

"It's another step up and another bigger challenge this week against Waaia," he said.

"At this stage of the year everyone is level pegging so we're all in the same boat.

"There were times during last week's game where we were a bit shaky and where we dropped off a little bit.

"We managed to work our way back into things but we know that we'll have to keep the pressure on all day and keep it sustained for a longer period of time against Waaia.

"We've been able to do this as a team with no passengers over the last month and the fact that we were able to stick with the Bombers last time we played does give us confidence."

Selection: Waaia by five points.

The Rovers will be represented by all four of the club's footy sides this weekend.

The Roos reserves, who defeated a previously unbeaten Saints to earn a spot in the preliminary finals, will face reigning premier Waaia at Strathmerton tomorrow.

Meanwhile the thirds and the fourths will both have the opportunity to play a home final at Memorial Park on Sunday.

The Roos thirds will face a strong Katunga side, while the fourths will come up against Strathmerton.

The action at Memorial Park starts at 9.10am with the fourths kicking off proceedings.