Anna Pavlou – @Annalyst_Sports
Both Emmaus St Leos and Old Eltham are coming off stinging losses and will be looking to prove that they can keep afloat in Division 2. Eltham showed last week that they can compete and run out a full game at a decent standard, so will be eager to go one better and snag their first win of 2018. The Animals play contested footy and like to take the ball to ground, so the middle men will be in the spotlight all day. Watch out for Robertson for Eltham around the ground as well as Jack Hunt from the Animals who can threaten another bag of goals.
The battle awaits against former Division 1 and Division 3 teams, Whitefriars and UHS-VU this week. The Friars are known for their high scoring contests, so their defence is something the Vultures must figure out, after the Friars only allowed their opposition nine majors last week. The Vultures at home will use the wings to their advantage and kick wide to open up the game. Both teams are extremely fast and hard to tie down, so expect a high-scoring encounter, with goals from Nitas (Whitefriars) and Sweeney (UHS-VU) who will need to find his form if his boys are a chance to cause an upset.
Evenly matched across the ground, the Yarra Old Grammarians v MHSOB match may be a close battle therefore an exciting match to follow. Yarra are desperate to earn back their top-four spot and MHSOB are eager to retain it after last week’s hard-fought win. The Rangers can score big if opposition defences don’t shut them down, so be prepared for the Unicorns to tighten up their backline in order to stop any run-ons. Melbourne High must look to Smith who is in consistent form to lead them to a gutsy win. For the Rangers, expect Pollard to be accountable in front of goal.
If St Johns want to have any chance of taking the four points, they must stop the leaking of goals and get on top of a fast-paced and quick-scoring Old Paradians side, who are proving themselves as serious finals contenders. The undefeated Old Paradians know how to hurt teams not just on the scoreboard, but across the whole ground, and will rely on another big Boundy performance and support from the Jeffery’s. St Johns need to get back on the winners list and can do so by working hard across the ground to create multiple scoring opportunities for forwards, Edwards and Thornton.
Power House have showed for two weeks now that they can and will compete in Division 2, however, Bulleen Templestowe will match up very well against them and are more comfortable at their home fortress. This game is a make or break for the House who have a chance to push for top four, as well as Bulleen who need to avoid dropping into the bottom two. Mohandas (Bulleen) and Stubbs (Power House) will be shooting it out in front of goals, so it will come down to which sides defence holds up for four quarters.