Fresh from its maiden AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League finals victory, Yarram has set its sights on another historic scalp when it lines up in Sunday’s first semi-final at Glengarry.
The Demons are yet to beat Churchill in six attempts since joining the competition in 2014 and coach Chris Pettitt said his side was ready for that to change.
“If there was ever a time to beat them a final would be beautiful,” Pettitt said.
“We drew with them last time so at least we haven’t lost to them every time now and that’s a stepping stone.”
Pettitt was at Yarram last Saturday to see the Cougars soundly beaten by Heyfield in the qualifying final, but expected to face a very different Churchill in Sunday’s first semi-final.
“They definitely don’t play the same game against Heyfield as they do against us,” he said.
“They’re a running side and they had a couple out that they’ll bring back in so they’ll be a different side again.”
Last weekend’s elimination final was a draining contest, with few stoppages resulting in a high-tempo game.
The rivalry with Woodside ensured it wasn’t short on physical clashes either, but Pettitt was confident in his players’ ability to be ready for Churchill.
“We play this style of footy every week and these guys are getting pretty good at looking after themselves,” Pettitt said.
“They’re always going to be sore when we’ve played well and played the way we want to play but they’re getting better at recovering from it as well.
“At least we get a seven-day break from this one… Churchill get the extra day but we’ll pick the fit blokes we’ve got and we’ll be fine.”
Mike Pettitt, Jari McDonald and Michael Lush will come into contention should Yarram look to make any changes.
Churchill will need to get more out of its talented forward line, which struggled to generate scoring opportunities against an organised and at times crowded Heyfield defence last weekend.
Cougars coach Allan Chandler admitted his side was second best in just about every area against the Roos and would need to regroup quickly to avoid being bundled out of the premiership race in straight sets.
“They’re a pretty proud group so I would expect them to bounce back,” Chandler said.
“We had a bit of trouble with (Heyfield’s) big blokes, they kicked a few goals and they were all over us from almost the get go and we weren’t able to get going.
“We’ll have Travis Brighton and Dean Degroot back to toughen us up and hopefully we can put in a better performance than we did (last week),” Chandler said.
“When you’ve got the double chance you get to probably not roll the dice (but) we don’t get that choice (this week) so they’ll be right.”
First semi-finals – Sunday, 28 August – Glengarry Recreation Reserve
Seniors – Churchill v Yarram
Reserves – Cowwarr v Traralgon-Tyers United
Thirds – Glengarry v Rosedale
A grade – Rosedale v Churchill
B grade –Sale City v Rosedale
C grade – Woodside v Yarram
D grade – Rosedale v Glengarry
17 and under – Churchill v Rosedale
15 and under –Sale City v Yarram
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