By Gary Williamson
Dodges Ferry v New Norfolk
DODGES Ferry face a real test of their character when they host the top of the ladder premiership favourite New Norfolk in a difficult assignment although they do have a distinct home ground advantage. The Sharks were disappointing in the second half last weekend away from home, losing to second-placed Lindisfarne and must really be prepared to play a solid four quarters of pressure football if they are to cause an upset victory. They also play their ground really well and should be able to close up the game and slow the Eagles down but they need to generate some scoring opportunities to put some early scoreboard pressure on their rivals.
New Norfolk will treat this as a danger game and will be desperate to hang onto top spot over Lindisfarne and will not relax for this encounter. They need to get off to a good start and if they can find space through the corridor then their key forwards should be able to create enough opportunities for them to kick a winning score.The Sharks may give some cheek early in the game but the Eagles have plenty of scoring power and with a settled and watertight defence they should be far too strong and record another comfortable win away from home.
- The Mercury's preview
CENTRAL Hawks are wanting to record their first win of the season and look a real chance when they host the in form Huonville at Kempton in what promises to be a very close game of football. The Hawks were gallant last weekend, losing away from hone to East Coast. They still have those bad quarters where they lose concentration and are scored heavily against. They must find some consistency and attempt to hold firm when opposition sides get a run on if they are to win this important game of football.
The Lions recorded their best win of the season last weekend at home against Brighton and will be full of confidence and fired up to record their fourth win of the season. They will be wanting to get off to a good start and not allow the home side to get any early momentum or confidence. If they find themselves behind it will be hard to wrestle back the lead from a desperate opposition. You would expect the Hawks to really lift for this winnable game but Huonville should have a little edge in class and experience and be able to take the points and record their fourth win of the season but will need to be at their best against a desperate home side.
Brighton v Lindisfarne
BRIGHTON are back at home and will be desperate for a win to try to break back into the top six but face a massive task when they host the second-placed in-form Lindisfarne and will need a huge improvement to cause a big upset victory. The Robins were shock losers last week away from home by Huonville after a very poor start and having lost their last two games and dropping out of the top six for the first time this season they are in a real slump. The midfield battle should decide the game and if the Blues get on top in this area and create the loose man then their talented forward line will be far too strong for the defence of the home side. The Robins should put up a solid performance in front of their home crowd but the big Pontville ground will suit the Two Blues and they should have too much run and firepower up forward and should take the points and keep firmly entrenched in the top two.
Claremont v East Coast
CLAREMONT are back at home and looking to bounce back after last weekend's disappointing performance when they host an improving East Coast in what poses a s a real danger game for the Magpies. The Magpies were easily defeated away from home last week against a much improved Cygnet and need to bounce back and recapture their best form. They need to play a more accountable style of football and attempt to force the skill errors overs rather than waiting for the opposition side to turn the ball over and need to lift their intensity for longer periods of the game. Claremont will be desperate to remain in the top six and after a hard week on the track they should finish the game strongly and with a vocal home crowd they should take the points but must be at their best against a talented side that lacks consistency for a full four quarters.
Kingborough v Sorell
KINGBOROUGH are back at home and looking to bounce back and should have not trouble in recording a win over a struggling Sorell who will be fresh from a bye but still need to work on their consistency.