Bloods not daunted by tough challenge

TRADITIONAL RIVALS: QEO co-tenants Sandhurst and South Bendigo lock horns on Saturday.

TRADITIONAL RIVALS: QEO co-tenants Sandhurst and South Bendigo lock horns on Saturday.

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BATTLING South Bendigo heads into Saturday’s top versus bottom Bendigo Football League clash against Sandhurst undaunted.

The two Queen Elizabeth Oval co-tenants begin the second half of the season at opposite ends of the ladder.

The Dragons are undefeated and flying in top position.

The Bloods - who haven’t claimed a wooden-spoon since 1965 - have won just one game and are last.

“The way we’re approaching the game is to just go out there on Saturday and give it everything we’ve got,” South Bendigo co-coach Peter Tyack said on Friday.

“We’ve been playing some good footy in patches over the past month.

“Our first half against Strathfieldsaye last game was terrific, but we copped a few injuries and lost some rotations on the bench in the second half.

“We’re confident in our match-ups, so we’ll go out there and give 100 per cent and the result will take care of itself.”

Tyack says the Bloods will take the game on from the outset and have no intention of playing negative football to limit the potential damage on the scoreboard.

“Neale (Torpey, co-coach) and I go into every match believing it’s a winnable game, there’s no doubt about that,” Tyack said.

“We’ve got a terrific young side, and with a young group of players it can be a challenge to sustain concentration and intensity over four quarters, but tomorrow will be no different to our approach of every game being winnable.”

While it’s a new-look playing group at South Bendigo this year, those who were with the Bloods last season would still have fresh in their minds what happened at Castlemaine 12 months ago.

It was round eight, last year, when the Bloods sat on top of the ladder and snuck home against bottom side Castlemaine by one point.

While the role is reversed this year, that game serves as a reminder that in footy, anything can happen.

And Sandhurst coach Brett Fitzpatrick will be well aware of that, too, with Fitzpatrick in charge of the Magpies last year in that one-point game against the Bloods.

“Whether it’s top v bottom, anything can happen in a game of footy,” Tyack said.

“It’s about the team that is willing to go out and give everything they’ve got and have 22 blokes play their role.

“You see it all the time, so we certainly go into Saturday believing we can win the game if everyone performs to their best and play the roles we’ve asked of them as a coaching staff.”

Meanwhile, the Bloods have lost recruit Ash Morris back to his home club, Deniliquin.

“Ash has got quite a bit of time off from university now and Deniliquin has been able to get him five days of work, which is something we weren’t able to get for him,” Tyack said.

“And his family lives up there, so that’s the main reason that has happened.”

Among the inclusions for the Bloods for Saturday’s clash are Bendigo Gold-listed Galen Munari and Bendigo Pioneer Matthew Chisari.

Key forward Ben Anderson is out for Sandhurst.

Comparing top to bottom:

Record: Sandhurst 9-0; South Bendigo 1-8.

Percentage: Sandhurst 236.3; South Bendigo 62.8.

Quarters won: Sandhurst 33/36; South Bendigo 11/36.

Average for: Sandhurst 119.2; South Bendigo 63.4.

Average against: Sandhurst 50.4; South Bendigo 100.9.

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