Beat Kyabram? Tigers a big chance

Campaspe News - - LOCAL CLASSIES - By AN­DREW JOHN­STON

IT’S our chance.

Rochester has been play­ing some solid foot­ball this Goul­burn Val­ley League sea­son.

It has come on the back of strong form from the back­line, which has stran­gled a num­ber of op­po­si­tion for­ward lines, and the com­bi­na­tion of Rhys Free and Steven Stroobants in the for­ward half which has seen the Tigers post some big scores.

Now comes the club’s big­gest test – the un­de­feated jug­ger­naut that is Kyabram.

Rochester has the chance to slay the dragon, with the Tigers head­ing to Kyabram this Sun­day for round seven of the GVL.

Sit­ting fifth on the lad­der, the Tigers have a lot of be­lief and coach James Fla­herty says there is a good feel­ing around the club.

‘‘We’re pretty happy with the kind of foot­ball we have been play­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘Com­ing off our last game against United, we think we’re play­ing nicely at the mo­ment.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously those two teams are very dif­fer­ent in terms of what they bring to the table with their foot­ball, but get­ting a good win and ex­e­cut­ing some of the plans we had, es­pe­cially in our de­fen­sive end, it fills us with a lot of con­fi­dence in our abil­ity as a team.’’

Though he is hon­est about the tough task that awaits his club at Kyabram.

‘‘We’ve been in the same boat as ev­ery­one else for the last two years in try­ing to find some­thing to stop them,’’ Fla­herty said.

‘‘No one is re­ally sure what it will take, though we be­lieve we will need to kick 11 or 12 goals to be in the game.’’

But there is a be­lief that Rochester’s style of foot­ball can find a way to break down the Bombers.

‘‘We think our style will work out in the game,’’ Fla­herty said.

‘‘It’s not a ques­tion of how well our game plan matches up, I think it matches up pretty well with most clubs.

‘‘As it of­ten is, the chal­lenge is mak­ing sure that we ex­e­cute well on the day.’’

The club will await this week’s train­ing re­gard­ing the fit­ness of a num­ber of play­ers, in­clud­ing a num­ber of key play­ers.

‘‘It’s still very early in terms of plan­ning,’’ Fla­herty said.

‘‘But we are look­ing to hope­fully get a few back this week. Rhys Free and Ash­ley Wat­son will be de­cided later in the week.’’

The club will also be re­ly­ing on the in­clu­sion of Stroobants, who may yet be re­quired by North Mel­bourne’s VFL side.

Rochester has not lost a game when Stroobants has played for the Tigers this year, and they haven’t won with­out him in the line-up.

So the ques­tion is, sim­ply, can the Tigers break the streak, or will they be just another name on Kyabram’s ledger?

It will be a tough game, but if the Tigers play their best foot­ball, they’re well and truly a chance.

Photo: Luke He­mer

Rochester’s power for­ward Steven Stroobants, play­ing here for Goul­burn Val­ley League on the week­end, looms as a po­ten­tial match-win­ner in this Sun­day’s clash with reign­ing premier Kyabram.

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