Natimuk United and Rupanyup to lock horns in round two

SPEED: Noradjuha-Quantong's Nicholas Jenner tries to keep up with Natimuk United's Kyal Murray last week. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
SPEED: Noradjuha-Quantong's Nicholas Jenner tries to keep up with Natimuk United's Kyal Murray last week. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

REJUVENATED Natimuk United and Rupanyup outfits should produce a close contest at the weekend. 

The two sides will meet at Natimuk, and both are coming off pleasing round one performances. 

Rupanyup will again be on the road at the weekend, and Natimuk United playing coach Sam Anson expects the game to be close.

“They weren’t far off the mark last season, and I reckon they will be very competitive this season,” he said. “They are like us in that they have signed a few new players. We should line up well together.”

Anson said his side’s focus during training this week was on improving their midfield.

“We have been focusing mainly on our midfield structures this week,” he said.

“They have a solid tall ruckman in Zack May. We will try hard to nullify their ball use in the midfield. That would help us go a long way in coming out on top in the game.”

Anson said he was wary of Rupanyup’s new recruits, but said he was focusing more on ensuring his team continued to understand each other’s game.

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“We will focus on our own game like always,” he said.

“All of our recruits know each other and play with each other, which I think is one of our big strengths.”

One of those new recruits is the versatile Jaydon Stiles. Stiles kicked four goals and was one of the best on ground during the Rams’ win last weekend.

“Stiles has fit in pretty well,” Anson said. “He is more of a backman, so I will be putting him at centre half-back this week. He can play a good shut down role.

“I think he will match it with their centre half-forward Trent Grant who kicked six last week. We will wait and see how we go with that.”

Rupanyup coach Jack Musgrove said he hoped Grant could repeat last week’s display.

“He was was on fire last week and I hope he can have another big one," he said.

Rupanyup will be without some key players, with Musgrove injuring his ankle and Matt Tyler suffering a minor hamstring injury last week.

“We have the depth to cover it. The twos played unreal last week so a couple of them will come up for us,” Musgrove said.

Musgrove expected it to be a close game.

“We are expecting them to be physical at the contest,” he said.

“It’s still early in the season so it’s hard to tell how strong they will be. It will be good for us to see where we are at after this game.”