STRATHFIELDSAYE will chase its 11th-consecutive win of the Bendigo Football League season on Saturday, but won’t be under-estimating Maryborough at Flight Centre Park.
The Storm have won nine more games than Maryborough this year, but coach Darryl Wilson is full of respect for the Magpies.
“I’ve watched them play live three times and have seen the vision of their game against Sandhurst last week when they kicked 11 goals and had 17 shots against statistically the best defence in the competition,” Wilson said on Friday.
“So we know they are capable of playing some dangerous football.”
While the Storm have continued to build their side in the second half of the season with the return of key players, they have taken a step backwards this week with the losses of Tom Bartholomew (knee) and Lachlan Sharp, who continues to be hampered by a sciatic problem.
Forward Bartholomew has been restricted to just four senior games this season.
“He’s still a chance to play again this year. It’s a similar knee injury to what Adam Goodes had earlier in the year with the PCL,” Wilson said.
“The pleasing part is it’s not the cruciate or something that needs to be operated on, but it’s certainly serious enough where he’ll miss a number of weeks.”
Saturday will be the second week in a row the Magpies have come up against one of the BFL’s pace-setters.
Last week they played the other team that has only lost one game - Sandhurst - and were beaten by 55 points.
Meanwhile, Castlemaine coach Shane Robertson will be well aware of the damage Eaglehawk can do if his Magpies lapse on Sunday at Camp Reserve.
When the two sides last met in round five, the Hawks piled on 12 goals in the final quarter to turn a 42-point three quarter-time lead into a 110-point victory.
The Hawks - who haven’t lost to Castlemaine since 2007 - will have plenty of incentive to bounce back on Sunday after their two-point loss to Kangaroo Flat last week cost them their position in the top five.
Castlemaine dropped to the bottom of the ladder after last week kicking just three goals in a 92-point defeat to Strathfieldsaye.