Sport

Dogs trying to snap leash

By Alex Mitchell

Kyabram’s legendary winning run has reached the staggering heights of 50 games, but no team has got closer to snapping the streak than Tatura.

Surely buoyed by the memory of getting within four points of the Bombers in round five last year, the Bulldogs will look to keep their own winning form going and take the biggest Goulburn Valley League scalp there is.

The new-look Dogs are firing on all cylinders having won four straight games, but coach Jamason Daniels was under no illusions Kyabram would present a host of different challenges.

‘‘We look forward to it; it’s the biggest challenge in football and we have nothing to lose,’’ Daniels said.

‘‘They’re a great football side and always hard to stop. So we go in excited and looking to test ourselves, we’re a pretty young side, so it will be a good measure.’’

At 6-2, Tatura has impressed to sit third on the table, with its narrow losses to Echuca (seven points) and Rochester (14 points).

Daniels said he wanted to see his side assert itself on the contest.

‘‘We want to play the way we play, but there’s certainly aspects we have to be mindful of,’’ he said.

‘‘They score heavily from turnovers, so you can’t give the ball up and they love to play one-on-one footy.’’

Tatura’s Andrew Ciavarella will be sidelined for up to two months with a broken hand suffered in its win against Shepparton United, with Che Walls available tomorrow after missing time with a shoulder injury.

Jonah Vraca and Luke McGill are also in the frame for selection.

Kyabram coach Paul Newman pointed to a pair of Bulldog forwards as players his side would have to keep an eye on.

‘‘Obviously (Brandyn) Grenfell up forward is in some pretty good form, he’s a handful, but we’ve got a few different defenders we think can do a job on him,’’ he said.

‘‘It all comes back to the pressure our midfield can get on them when the ball is coming inside 50.

‘‘Matty Ryan is a really good footballer, too, so they pose some threats that will keep our back six on their toes.’’

Both defences have turned heads this season; Kyabram’s points allowed is the lowest mark in the competition (356) with Tatura not far behind in second (400).

The Bombers will miss Jordan Williams with a hamstring complaint, while Lachie Smith will return to the side after his first VFL game of the season last weekend.

‘‘(Footscray) was really happy with him; they were pretty keen for him to have a week off, but he wanted to have a kick back at Kyabram,’’ Newman said.

‘‘We’re really lucky to have him and we’ve always got a place for him.’’