Ground: Davis Park, Nhill, Saturday, 2.20pm.
Last time they met: Round 12, 2013. Dimboola 16.19 (115) d Nhill 2.6 (18).
AFTER a horror opening month on the scoreboard, reigning premier Dimboola could potentially jump into the top five with a win against Nhill on Saturday.
The Roos lost their first four games by an average margin of more than three goals, but a big win over Stawell has moved the side to within a win of fifth position on the ladder.
Key to the Roos’ bounce back to form was their midfield brigade delivering to a forward line housing the dangerous Lachie Exell, Ash Clugston and Lachie Watts.
Roos coach Stuart Farr hopes his side can pick up where it left off before the interleague break against the Tigers.
“We got a bit of confidence out of that win against Stawell and we want to maintain that confidence,” he said.
“We’ve got to keep improving on what we’re doing to be a lot more consistent in games for four quarters.”
Farr said the Roos would have a full list to choose from, with a number of players pressing hard for selection with strong reserves performances.
Ruckman Justin Chilver and full-forward Lachie Exell will take confidence out of their interleague performances, while Josh Rentsch and Andrew Seers found touch before the break.
Farr said winning the midfield battle would be crucial if the Roos were to beat the Tigers.
“The forward line is functioning a lot better, but I think the key is the midfield players picked up their game,” he said.
“When you win the clearances and the midfield battle you can make the forwards look pretty good.
“We’ve got to get our hands on the footy first – especially as Nhill’s ground is probably the shortest in the competition – so there’s a big emphasis on the midfield battle.”
For the bottom-placed Tigers, this is a must-win game if they are to turn their season around.
The Tigers’ form at home this season – challenging the likes of Warrack Eagles and Horsham Saints, who have both beaten Dimboola in the opening five rounds – suggests they will not be without a chance.
In-form onballers Mat Jones and Liam Albrecht will again need to lead from the middle, but it is the Tigers’ forward line that needs to function.
The side has kicked more than 10 goals just once in 2014.
Tigers coach Shane Grover said the break had been positive, with morale still high at Nhill.
“The week off has freshened a few blokes up,” he said.
“We’ve been training as normal and the attitude at training has been fantastic.
“We’re pretty much as strong as we can be, so I’m happy with the side we’re going to have.”
Grover said he backed ruck duo George McWaters and Matt Tober to challenge Chilver in the centre, while pressure would be important for a Tigers triumph.
“We’ve got to put pressure on them so they can’t get clean possession,” he said.
“We know what to expect from them, so we’ve got to be switched on from the first bounce.”