Ground: Murtoa Recreation Reserve, Sunday, 2.20pm.
Last time they met: Round two, 2014. Minyip-Murtoa 13.11 (89) d Dimboola 11.14 (80).
MINYIP-MURTOA will host Dimboola in a Wimmera Football League season-defining clash at Murtoa Recreation Reserve on Sunday.
The fifth-placed Burras and sixth-placed Roos will meet in the AFL Victoria Country WorkSafe Game of the Month.
While there are still eight rounds remaining, this match has the potential to shape the top five.
A win for the Burras would see them move two games clear of the Roos inside the top five, ahead of tough matches against top-three sides Horsham and Ararat in the following two rounds.
A win for the visitors would draw them level on points with the Burras, however a loss – with games to follow against Warrack Eagles and Horsham – could leave the reigning premier in need of something special to feature at the business end of the season.
Dimboola coach Stuart Farr said it was a must-win game for his team.
“We’ve put ourselves in a pretty ordinary position,” he said.
“Every game is like a final for us from here on. Hopefully that pressure can bring the best out of us.”
Consistency has been an issue for the Roos this season, but Farr is confident his charges are poised to click.
“We’re confident we’ll get there,” he said.
“We’re still tweaking things to find the exact right formula, but we’ve got to produce week-in, week-out and we’re far from that at the minute.
“We played a fantastic third quarter last week but we’ve got to produce that for four quarters.”
Shaun McDonald and Elliot Braithwaite impressed for the Roos at the weekend and will need to continue their form, while Ash Clugston, Lachie Exell and Lachie Watts will again be important around goal.
Farr said the Burras – who narrowly won the sides’ previous meeting this season – were a tough challenge.
“They’re always a side that I’ve respected a lot,” he said.
“They’re pretty even – they’ve bolstered their forward line and they’re pretty deep in the midfield.
“We’ve just got to contribute well as a team – we really need that even contribution.”
“It’s not about who you haven’t got, it’s about who you have got and we’re excited for the challenge.”
Minyip-Murtoa coach Scott Arnold said his side was prepared for another massive clash.
“Every week’s a big game,” he said.
“I think both sides are pretty evenly matched – they’ve got some dangerous forwards and some strong midfielders.”
The depth of the Burras could be tested however with several key players out of action.
Arnold said the Burras would lose leading goal-kicker Clinton Midgley and Matt Friedlieb, while Adam Gerdtz and Kirsten Hunter would miss again.
“It’s not about who you haven’t got, it’s about who you have got and we’re excited for the challenge,” he said.
“There’s some young guys who played earlier in the year and have gone back and shown some form, so there could be some opportunities there.”
Kieran Delahunty’s contest against fellow interleague ruckman Justin Chilver should enthrall.
Defender Dan Smith played a key role on Roos full-forward Exell earlier in the year and an exciting battle will ensue if the two match up on Saturday.
Utility Justin Garth will look to continue his consistent form.
Essendon Team of the Century member Terry Daniher will attend the match as a Worksafe ambassador.
The 313-game VFL-AFL legend and premiership captain will speak at the pre-game function starting at noon.
He will present trophies to the winning senior football and A Grade netball sides.