CLOSENESS in competition has kept North Ballarat Roosters at a standstill in their top-eight pursuit.
This means the Selkirk Roosters are again in a pivotal battle at Eureka Stadium tomorrow.
They are fully aware how important it is to claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season and build momentum in the Victorian Football League.
The league is constantly producing surprises, including Geelong’s 21-point win against the formidable Port Melbourne at the Cattery last week – just seven days after the Roosters defeated Geelong at the same ground.
North Ballarat sits two games off top-eight pace and returns from a club bye.
In an unpredictable competition, no-one is safe.
The Northern Blues may only have one win on the board, but sport an outfit capable of rattling any team.
Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said this match was “so crucial” for his team.
“The ladder hasn’t done us any favours with the win (against Geelong). We’re still outside the eight but we have got control over
our own destiny and we need to take that control,” FitzGerald
“If we win this week, we stay in touch.
“We’ll go back to what we need to do, the overall key processes, necessary to win.
“We’ve reminded players during the week and we’ll remind them again on match day.”
The Roosters have highlighted defensive strategy for
improved pressure across the ground.
FitzGerald said general play was better against Geelong, excepting a period late in the first quarter when the Cats shook loose.
The Roosters re-confirmed their line up after training last night, including the addition of five North Melbourne-listed players in defenders Cam and Luke Delaney, forward Aaron Edwards, onballer Cruize Garlett and midfielder Aaron Mullett.
Northern Blues are strengthen by a band of Carlton players returning from injury or young Blues pushing for AFL selection.
FitzGerald expected Carlton staff to be out in force, keeping close check on their players.
The Roosters had a light but solid hit-out last night.
Those who did not play cub football last weekend were put through a tough, intense session on Monday night.
Meanwhile, midfielder Nick Peters continues his struggle to return from a quadriceps injury.
Peters, battling soreness in his kicking foot, did not complete training last night and has withdrawn from the Roosters’ development team match.