Division 2 Preview: Round 6

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Anna Pavlou

Both Brunswick and Glen Eira are coming off big wins from Round 5, so it will be a test for both sides as they aim for 3 wins (Glen Eira) and four wins (Brunswick) in a row. The Nobbers composure and ability to reach a multitude of forwards will be pivotal, and if they can start like last week, they should be comfortable to apply the scoreboard pressure they are becoming known for. Superstar 17-year-old Francis Evans has been a nightmare for all oppositions to date, and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The Gryphons spread of 12 goal kickers last week should worry the Nobbers as they are building a multi-facetted forward-line that wants to contend in 2019. Key target Julius Waras Carstensen has been on fire for the Gryphons, so he will be another focus for the Nodders defence.

Both Ivanhoe and Hawthorn had harsh losses in Round 5, but will put on a contested battle as they attempt to get their respective seasons back on track. Ivanhoe need this win to remain in contention for the top four while the Hawks just need to find a win. The Hawks showed last week against Power House that their midfield is extremely quick and clean when they need to be. Although they didn’t get the points last week, they’ve got a real opportunity to take down Ivanhoe. The Hawks also kicked their biggest score last week, so they will be looking to mirror that and go one better with the four points. They played with a number of strong, key forwards who took some outstanding marks, so it will be up to the Hoers defence to play man on man and stop any heavy Hawk traffic. If Ivanhoe can put four quarters together, they will be in this all the way. Will the Hawks come into Round 6 with a more poised, yet still hungry approach to their game or will Ivanhoe keep the Hawks winless in order to stay in touch with their finals hopes?

Back off their bye round, MHSOB will be ready to pounce on Yarra Old Grammarians, who had their first loss of the 2019 season in Round 5. The Bushrangers will be bitterly disappointed with their efforts last week, but have the perfect opportunity to use the small Unicorns ground to their advantage and play their old game style which has proved viable in previous weeks. If Yarra can win clearances early, they’ll be able to shut down the Unicorns and halt any run-ons through the middle of the small ground. The Unicorns will play a fast-paced break-away game to keep up or run over Yarra. Held to their lowest score last week, only 5 majors, the Bushrangers will be ready to right their wrongs and get back to dominance in the forward line. Bushrangers’ star forward Luke Barker will still be hungry to stay in the race for the goal kicking award, so don’t be surprised if he is prominent in front of goal. The smaller MHSOB side will have a lot of work to do to stop the tall Bushrangers forwards. For the Unicorns, they’ve got a chance to prove that they are worthy contenders this year, letting the bye work as a refreshing advantage.

It’s hard to fault the ferocious Whitefriars footy, so it will be a big test for Bulleen Templestowe as they travel out to Whitefriars College to take on the Premiership favourites. The Bullants, who suffered a hard defeat last week against Brunswick, will have spent the week rejuvenating and upgrading their game to take on the near-perfect Friars. The Bullants’ main goal is to shut down the Friars run on early, to halt any possible blow outs, that may put the result beyond doubt early. There is not much to fault within the walls of Whitefriars, so it looks as if they’ll continue on their merry way into Round 6. Although the Friars only managed 11 goals last week, they’ll ensure they practice their goal kicking and get back to dominating in front of the big sticks. The Bullants have a chance to steady their ship and get back on track, thought forward star Kristian Cherbakof (3 goals last week) will have a big job ahead given the solid Friars defenders. A hard game of contested footy will be needed by the Bullants should they hope to slow down the high-speed voltage footy of the Friars and make the battle a lot closer than predicted.