Finals arrive early for Braves

BENDIGO Bank Braves coach Ben Harvey is expecting finals-like intensity when his side hosts the Kilsyth Cobras on Saturday night.

UNITED FRONT: The Bendigo Braves will need a team effort if they're to defeat the Kilsyth Cobras. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

UNITED FRONT: The Bendigo Braves will need a team effort if they're to defeat the Kilsyth Cobras. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

With two rounds remaining, the third-placed Cobras (13-11) and fourth-placed Braves (12-12) are battling with fifth-placed Frankston (11-12) for the final two spots in the SEABL east conference play-offs.

With the Braves to play top side Mt Gambier in the final round of the season, Saturday night’s game against the Cobras is a mini-final for the home side.

“To put it simply, we just have to win to have any chance of making the play-offs,’’ Braves coach Ben Harvey said.

“We can still make the play-offs if we lose, but a lot of results would need to go our way.

“You want to make the play-offs on the back of winning form.

“It’s not going to be easy, but I’m confident we’re ready to play well.”

Frankston Blues play sixth-placed Sandringham (10-13) on Saturday night in a game that Harvey expects the Blues to win.

Frankston heads to Tasmania in the final round to play North West Tasmania (15-9) and Hobart (9-15).

“You just never know because our league is so even,’’ Harvey said.

“All we can worry about is ourselves. That starts with beating Kilsyth.

The Cobras are renowned for their hard-nosed defence and Harvey has put extra emphasis on his side’s offence this week.

“I’d love to see Dustin (Salisbery) have a big offensive game this week,’’ Harvey said.

“We need everyone chipping in with points, but Dustin has the capabilities of putting together big numbers.”

The Braves-Kilsyth game starts at 8pm.

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