NHILL will take a fearless attitude into Saturday afternoon’s clash with Wimmera Football League heavyweight Minyip-Murtoa, confident it has a game style that can match it with the Burras.
Tigers coach Alan Bennett said Minyip-Murtoa was a clear standout in the first three weeks of the season, but said his side would approach the match with confidence.
“It’s a massive challenge –they’re just belting everyone –but we’ve got to approach the game with the attitude that we’ve got nothing to lose,” he said.
IMPORTANT: Minyip-Murtoa’s Warwick Stone will be a key part of the Burras’ efforts on Saturday, as he looks to his midfielders’ first use. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
“We’ve just got to work on what we can control, which is how well we can play and the way we want to play.”
Without winning a game against the Burras in 2015, Nhill’s matches against the Burras were hard-fought, tight encounters.
Bennett said his side would take confidence from those efforts.
“I do because last year they were similar. They’ve got a lot of big blokes and we don’t have that many,” he said.
Bennett said it was a match-up he did not believe should suit the Tigers, but admitted it does.
“It doesn’t make much sense, because normally when you match up well with someone, you have the same sort of team, but that’s not the case this time,” he said.
The Tigers’ defence is an area in which it has improved greatly in the off-season, and it will need to shine on Saturday to limit the influence of in-form Burra Jae McGrath.
A versatileKieran Delahunty looms as another danger for Nhill
Minyip-Murtoa coach Jaye Macumber expects to be made to work hard at the weekend.
“They’ve definitely improved, absolutely no question, so we’re preparing for a really hard hit-out,” he said.
The Burras are yet to be truly challenged in 2016, but Macumber knows finding avenues to goal will not be as simple against the Tigers.
“Their defence has tightened up significantly with the way they’re stopping sides from getting on the scoreboard,” he said.“We’re fully aware of that and we’ll have to work hard as a unit.”
A significant weakness of the Burras in 2015 was they struggled against fast-moving sides when they got the ball into space.
Macumber feels his side has improved in that area in the early stages of 2016, but is placing an emphasis on getting the ball in his players’ hands first on Saturday.
“Warwick Stone in the ruck. We need him to give us first use of the ball,” he said.
Defender Caleb Hill will also prove a key in sling-shotting the Burras forward.
“Caleb Hill has been absolutely fantastic, and we heavily rely on him down back. We need him to set up out attacks,” Macumber said.
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