Mudcrabs visit high-flying Saints

YARALLA Mudcrabs venture to Boyne Island today to take on arch-rivals BITS Saints and the match is shaping up as a typical contest between the two teams.

The Saints will be full of confidence after their unceremonious disposal of the Rockhampton Panthers last weekend at Boyne, and Muddies will be looking to run as much as possible and keep an open forward line if they’re to rain on the Saints parade.

Saints forwards John Beirouti, Adam Rakip and Luke Tennant helped themselves to one less than 40 goals last week. They were simply too strong, too classy and all over too good for their opponents.

And the Saints backline didn’t put a foot wrong and, more importantly, didn’t take the foot off the pedal and allow easy goals to be scored when the match was well and truly in the bag.

Led by able captain Adam Dickenson at halfback and possessing quality onballers, the Saints aren’t downhill skiers and get back to help across halfback.

Muddies younger brigade had a lapse in the latter part of the second quarter into the third against Glenmore at Clinton Park, and if not for that would have been close to snatching a win in their first game for the season.

Their effort not to chuck in the towel would have been heartening for coach Jason Chirgwin, especially after they answered his call at three-quarter time to get back on track.

With slightly more accuracy in front of goal, they would have been a bit closer than the five goals they went down by against the Bulls, but they will be better for the run.

If they’re to have a chance, Reece Sadler has to kick a swag at full forward and the running brigade have to be able to withstand the pressure that will come from the first bounce.

The Muddies midfielders will have to hit targets under pressure, otherwise turnovers will soon see the ball in the hands of the opposition forwards in pretty short time.

Saints coach Al Watkins will be wary of his side taking the pressure off after such a convincing win and will have been watching for signs of complacency this week at training.

Nick Stanley’s defection from the Muddies to the Saints will have him fired up to make an impact and the crowd will be sure to let him know he hasn’t been forgotten.

But it’s Beirouti who will be worth the admission fee and Muddies defender Nick Jones, if he gets the job at full back, will have his work cut out for him.

The Saints midfielders know just where to put the pill for the burly full forward, who would rather grapple one-on-one than lead out and get the easy mark.

No doubt he will unleash the odd cartwheel if he nails a few, just to keep the Muddies faithful honest.

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