Bendigo Pioneers strive to halt Calder's drive

BENDIGO Bank Pioneers coach David Newett has declared workrate and defensive pressure must be greater in Saturday's TAC Cup football clash with Calder Cannons.

The Pioneers head to Craigieburn for the round eight clash with the second-placed Calder.

"It's really important we have a consistent effort in every quarter," Newett said.

"In a lot of matches we have shown patches of great form, but then lapses have been costly," he said of the 1-5 record. 

"At times it's been fundamental mistakes that opponents have capitalised on.

"Pressure on the ball-carrier must be high, especially against a team as skilful as the Cannons."

The Calder attack boasts the height of Mark Kovacevic, 204cm; Peter Wright and Reilly O'Brien, 200cm; and Jayden Foster, 194cm.

Gisborne's Ethan Minns and Matt Goodyear are in the Calder line-up.

Changes for the Pioneers include the return of Newbridge ruckman Connor Toohey and Red Cliffs Jonty Marciano to make his TAC Cup debut as the 23rd player.

Skilful midfielder Jaden McGrath is also back from injury and will team up with the in-form Billy Evans, Bailey Edwards, Tom Cole, Mat Pickering, Marciano and Fergus Payne at the crucial centre bounces.

The battle between Bendigo and Calder starts at 1pm at Highgate Recreation Reserve in Craigieburn.

Connor Toohey

Connor Toohey

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