FOR the second round in a row Jeparit-Rainbow will be engaged in a top of the table clash – this time against second-placed Kalkee.
The Storm sit clear at the top of the table after defeating Harrow-Balmoral in round eight before last weekend’s league bye.
Kalkee leapfrogged the Southern Roos into second place after accounting for Noradjuha-Quantong in round eight.
Now the two teams meet at Jeparit in a much anticipated clash.
Storm coach Tim Inkster said this week’s game carried a lot of importance for the top three positions.
“It’s an eight-point type of game – if we win we will have a little bit of breathing space but if we don’t then we will be right among everyone else,” he said.
“We’ve been looking forward to this block of games to see where we are at. Kalkee is a pretty fast and fit team by the sounds of it. We might have some match-up issues but will know more after Saturday.”
The Storm will take some confidence from knocking off the Southern Roos two weeks ago.
“We were definitely happy after that game but everyone realises that was only round eight, it wasn’t season defining or anything like that,” he said. “We need to back it up and do the same thing again this week.”
Inkster said his side was nearing full strength.
“We have a couple guys still a few weeks away but we will have Simon Clugston coming back into the senior side after coming back from injury in the reserves,” he said. “Heath Clugston is out for a month with a hamstring injury. Hopefully everyone will peak at the right time come finals.”
Kalkee co-coach Stuart Farr said Jeparit-Rainbow had set the standard for the league so far.
“They are in red hot form and are the new yard stick,” he said. “We are looking forward to testing ourselves and see where we really sit with the big boys.”
The Storm sit one game above Kalkee and Harrow-Balmoral.
“It’s only the top two in the finals that get that double chance, so it’s definitely up for grabs this week,” Farr said.
“We need to bring a high pressure game.
“They have a lot of big guys and some marking power so we need to pressure around the ball so their delivery isn’t great.
“Then we need to rebound and play our running style of game.”
Farr said most of the senior side was well-rested following the bye.
“Nick Jasper and Daniel Launer won’t play unfortunately, but everyone is excited about the opportunity at hand,” he said.