LAST TIME THEY MET: Waubra 18.8 (116) d Springbank 7.7 (49), round 11, 2018
Waubra star James Lukich is set to play in Saturday’s Central Highlands Football League semi final showdown with Springbank.
The powerful onballer missed last weekend’s qualifying final defeat at the hands of Buninyong with a hamstring injury, but has been selected to tackle the Tigers.
Waubra coach Matt James believes Lukich is the best player in the CHFL and is clearly pleased to have his key weapon back in the side.
“We just really lacked that big body in (the midfield) so it will be good to have him back in,” James said.
Saturday’s defeat against the Bombers was the Roos’ fifth-straight loss in finals, with the drought spanning all the way back to season 2014.
James is confident his team’s best football is good enough to break that losing sequence this weekend and will draw confidence from the only meeting with the Tigers back in round 11.
Lukich was in devastating form on that occasion, booting six goals as the Roos charged clear to win the game by 67 points.
Springbank led the match early, but Waubra outscored its rivals 18 goals to two from the 20-minute mark of the first term.
The GJ Gardner Tigers got over Dunnstown in an elimination final last weekend to set up the showdown with the Roos.
Springbank led the contest all afternoon to win by 36 points.
Tigers forward Paul O’Shea was badly hurt in that game – sustaining a fracture in his knee – and is likely out for the remainder of the 2018 season.
Matt Lakey also hurt his knee in that game and has been left out of the team to battle the Roos. Simon Quinlan and Sam Cue were others to spend time on the sidelines with soreness last Saturday, but are part of the Tigers’ selected 22.
Springbank coach Troy Beamond conceded turning around a 67-point defeat from late June will be a tough task, but said “the boys are up for the challenge”.
“We are certainly not daunted by it and we’ll go out there and give 100 per cent,” Beamond said.
Beamond hoped having a high number of players with vast finals experience would play a part in getting the Tigers over the line.
Saturday’s game will be played at Buninyong, with the winner progressing to a preliminary final against Beaufort.