EAST POINT V MELTON
at City Oval,
East Point (1st): 13 wins, 3 losses
Melton (3rd): 11 wins, 5 losses
LAST MET: round 3 - Kangaroos 13.7 (85) d Bloods 12.11 (83)
Melton coach Aaron Tymms could hardly be more impressed by the way his players have taken to the challenge of a Ballarat Football League finals campaign.
Tymms said they had taken it in their stride.
He admitted to being full of nerves himself going into Melton’s elimination final against Lake Wendouree.
“It was nerve wracking (for me).”
Tymms said in contrast the players had been much more relaxed.
He believes that being able to retain their usual routine into the finals, and not get of their comfort zone, would again be important as they chased a ninth win in a row against East Point in the second semi-final at the City Oval on Saturday.
A lot has changed since Melton last took on East Point in round three at Melton.
It was a thriller, with the Kangaroos producing a late comeback to get home by two points.
The Bloods appeared to have the game in their keeping – leading by 14 points on 20 minutes into the last quarter.
Tymms said East had shown in that game and again in the qualifying final that it was never beaten.
He said those performances by the Roos showed you could never be far enough in front of them and this would be a message he would stress to his players.
Tymms said there was a real hunger to make the most of the opportunity it had after ending a long finals drought for the club.
“We’ve been ticking all the boxes. That’s what we have to keep doing.”
East coach Jake Bridges said despite obviously working on the areas which put it on the back foot against North Ballarat City, there had also been a strong focus on what the Roos had done to get back into the game. “We’ll leverage off them.”
He said there would naturally be an emphasis on getting away to a good start.
This will largely come down to East Point’s expansive midfield taking in Matt and Jordan Johnston, Daniel Semmens, Jacob Brown, Aden Nestor and ever-improving Mickitja Rotumah-Onus, as they match up against Matt Denham, Billy Crofts, Jordan Cotter and Connor Griffiths.
East Point and Melton have each retained the same line-ups as week one of the finals.
East Point tall forward Joel Ottavi has been named on an extended interchange for Essendon in the VFL, but also remains in the Kangaroos’ make-up.
The Roos’ Jake McQueen has kept his place in the Essendon side after an impressive effort in the opening week of the finals.
PREDICTION: East Point