Cats prepare to meet Tigers

WOOMELANG Lascelles is coming off a bye and will be well prepared to take on Mallee Football League powerhouse Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers tomorrow.

As it is late in the season, teams have now played each other three times and will have learnt a lot about one another.

Identifying strengths of the opposition and then being able to devise and implement strategies to combat these strengths are going to be important as they all get one last chance to get things right before a possible match up in a final.

The Cats have been in a position to win at some stage in all three games against the Tigers.

However, it has been the Tigers' ability to have a burst of controlling and dominating football, at crucial times of the game, that has seen them take the upper hand on all three occasions so far.

The start is going to be important. The Tigers have conceded 14 first-quarter goals — to just one — in their last three games. If they are not able to rectify this problem of slow starts, they may leave an open chance for the Cats to build a lead that is too hard to chase down.

While the Tigers have nothing to play for in terms of ladder position, if the Cats are able to pull off a win here, it will do wonders for their chance of a top two finish.

The team that the Cats will be hoping to overtake in second position is the Southern Mallee Giants, who face the challenge of Walpeup Underbool in front of their home crowd.

Unfortunately both teams will be without influential players for this game. The Roos had no bench after halftime last week against the Demons.

They will need to replace playmaker Ryan Anderson who injured his leg, as well as Joab Mead who suffered a knee injury.

For the Giants, 2014 Mallee Football League best and fairest winner Tyler Lehmann will miss after suffering a serious ankle injury.

His drive and determination will be missed around the contest.

Both teams are going to need others to step up in the absence of key players.

This will test the depth and character of both clubs as it is important for both of them to have a strong finish to the season. 

For the Giants they are fighting to hold on to the second chance to give themselves every opportunity of going deep into the finals. For the Roos, although they are now out of the finals race, wins late in the season will provide the club with an impetus as they look to the future.