Round 16 Preview – 2017
From the Border Mail
MURRAY Magpies coach Josh Maher is refusing to even entertain the idea of playing finals.
With the side being on a roller-coaster ride for the entire season, Maher has learnt to look no further ahead than each Saturday.
And that’s Jindera at Jindera.
The Magpies presently have one of the longest injury lists in the competition with Ash Murray, Hayden Edwards, Damien Grey, Nathan Woods, Zac Doyle and Daniel Mannagh either wounded or unavailable.
“It’s been a battle,” Maher said.
“We aren’t far out of the six, but we aren’t even looking at that to be honest.
“A few teams are in the same boat.
“All we are doing at the moment is rocking up each Saturday and giving it our best shot.
“Our form has been OK lately so hopefully we can play well out at Jindera.”
Although Maher isn’t looking at the run home, most of the competition is with Howlong, Rand-Walbundrie-Walla, Murray Magpies and Holbrook fighting for one spot.
If the Spiders and Giants beat CDHBU and Lockhart and the Magpies and Brookers lose to top-four sides Jindera and Henty, the fight will be down to two.
The fight for the double chance is almost as intense.
Brocklesby-Burrumbuttock need to upset Osborne at Osborne on Saturday to stay in the hunt for second spot.
The Saints are set to regain Azzi medallist Luke Schilg from injury and the unavailable Justin Koschitzke.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to stay in the mix,” assistant-coach Luke Brauer said.
“I have a lot of respect for Osborne.
“They play a good, honest team style or footy, everyone plays their role and Rava (Matt) has done a good job in getting the best out of everyone.
“Osborne has been playing a more consistent style of footy than everyone else and is winning the close ones as well.”
Howlong and CDHBU lock horns in a crucial clash at Howlong.
The Spiders played their best football in 10 weeks last weekend with the wise heads of Matt McDonald, Tim Brook, Joel Price and Peter Hancock expected to prove the difference.
“The boys have some confidence back,” Price said.
“There isn’t much room for error from here.”
Rand-Walbundrie-Walla host Lockhart with Demon star Jordan Harrington shaping as the biggest threat to the Giants.
Henty face a danger match against Holbrook and Culcairn take on Billabong Crows at Culcairn.