The halfway mark of the MGFNL season can start to give some clubs some clarity about where they might sit and what they might need to do in order to improve or secure their positions in the back half of the home and away rounds.
Fish Creek v Yinnar
Fish Creek will need to put an end to Yinnar's winning run in order to have any chance of climbing their way back up the MGFNL ladder.
The Kangaroos at their best are deserving of finals football, but unfortunately just getting enough players on the park has been as big a challenge as anything else in 2022.
Just last week one of the most respected clubs in the competition didn't have the numbers to field a reserves side against Newborough, a very clear indication that there is still lots of work to be done.
That work needs to come quickly though as the Kangaroos prepare for an in-form Magpies outfit.
Yinnar were challenged in round 8 by an MDU side who also had plenty to play for, but the Magpies showed when under pressure there is still plenty in the tank, keeping the Demons to just one goal while adding eight more themselves., a sure sign that the best may be yet to come.
Daniel Taylor, Yinnar coach " Fish Creek on their home ground is another big game, they are a proud club and they need to win anyway they can to keep their season alive.We expect them to throw everything at us so we need to be at our best."
Every week there seems to be a number of "crucial" games for clubs, there is no question this is one of those for Fish Creek.
.Foster v Boolarra This game is worth travelling much further than South Gippsland to enjoy, but the fact is you don't have to. Foster has started to put the pieces together in recent times and although still a way off their best, you can't help but be impressed with what the Tigers have delivered in recent times. Currently sixth, Foster have Boolarra in their sights with a win guaranteeing to draw them within two premiership points of the Demons as a consequence of a drawn game earlier in the year. Demons coach Tony Giardina, aware of the enormity of the clash " It's another big test for us next week against Foster, who look like they're getting their game up and going." Boolarra were all but dead and buried at half time last week, trailing by five goals they probably could have been forgiven for accepting that their defeat was inevitable, but what happened in some ways defied belief with the Demons keeping their opponents scoreless for the second half while piling on 7 goals and 12 behinds from their 19 scoring shots. It was one of those sort of wins that are capable of propelling a team to much greater opportunities in the weeks and months ahead, but for this week Foster must be their focus. MDU v Morwell East MDU at home have been a hard team to read this season, some of it because of the quality of opposition they have faced, some of it because of reasons much closer to home and potentially within their control. The Demons at their best have proven to be capable of mixing it with any team in the competition, and this week they will certainly have to be at their best. Peter Harris MDU coach " we are matching it with the best so this week we will do everything we can to take our chances to have a crack at Morwell East." Morwell East probably haven't put four full quarters together yet, but if they do, god help anybody in their way. Devon Soutar, Morwell East coach " we look forward to testing our consistency in all aspects against another proud club in MDU this week," The Hawks currently sit just outside the top six, and given the evenness of the competition don't really have the luxury of being able to drop any fifty fifty games of which this clash could reasonably be seen as just that. Mirboo North v Toora This writer has been reluctant to write Mirboo North off as a finals contender through fear of being embarrassed later in the season, but I think the time has come where it can be safely predicted that the Tigers are done for 2022. Currently sitting tenth of thirteen clubs, and with just two wins to its name, Mirboo North will have to perform the miraculous, and then still rely on teams above them to lose to have even a remote chance of clawing their way to the bottom half of the top six sides. In short it all seems impossible, which will probably now provide the impetus for them to start a run of wins that starts to send a scare to the rest of the league...but I doubt it!. Toora, have fought as manfully as they possibly could throughout the season and should be respected for that alone, but just how long they continue to fight given the wave of defeats that have washed over them in recent weeks is questionable. Matt Ponton, Toora coach " hopefully we can get over the many injury issues and come out this week with our first win" The Tigers should be winning this game, but there are probably a handful of others they should have already won as well and didn't, Josh Taylor, Mirboo North coach "it's been a tough start to the season, but I honestly believe if we get our full list on the park we can compete in finals, we just need to start winning from now," They can't make finals........or can they? Stony Creek v Newborough Stony Creek will be rueing an opportunity lost in their defeat to Boolarra last weekend, the question now is will the hurt from that match be enough to drive the Lions to bigger and better things this weekend against an inform and very impressive Newborough side. Jai Acardi Stony Creek coach "this week doesn't get any easier against Newborough, but we will make sure we are up for the challenge." The Bulldogs are currently in that rare air where they believe they are capable of beating any side from almost any position within a game. Craig Skinner, Newborough coach "after Fish Creek last week, we get to cross another Creek this week away from home before our much needed bye,and like all teams they have match winners that need our respect, full focus and preparation, take your eye off the ball and you will lose." Stony Creek have their sights set on a climb up the ladder from their current position of eighth, well to anywhere above eighth, but their opponents this weekend want nothing less than a top two spot, a position that is well within their grasp, and from there, well let's face it anything is possible . Tarwin v Hill End The match of the round and quite possibly the match of the season, sees the unbeaten Tarwin play host to the 2021 Minor premiers Hill End. Currently first and second respectively on the MGFNL ladder, this match can have the Rovers within percentage of top spot or conversely a win for the Sharks will see them two games clear with every chance of maintaining that coveted position for the rest of the year. Troy Hemming' Tarwin coach "this week is a top of the table clash at Shark Park, I had the privilege to play with Hill End Coach, Mike Santo and know that he is a smart operator and he will have his boys ready for a great game of modern football. It's going to have to be a four quarter effort, it will be a great game" Hill End were still putting the pieces of their best side together prior to last weekend's bye, it was a break that Mike Santo believes came "just at the right time". It could well be expected that these two teams will clash in the real stuff later in the year, the winner to gain a "mental edge" this week. The Rovers have been flying under the radar in a lot of ways in 2022, despite their second placing on the ladder, however a win this week will certainly put them front and centre of the competition.