2.20pm, Saturday at QEO
The Graeme Wright Memorial Cup clash is one of the highlights of the BFNL calendar and this year's edition holds extra significance with the Bloods and Dragons winless through two rounds.
The winner on Saturday will stay in touch with the leading teams, while it's a long way back for the team that slips to 0-3.
The Bloods have been ravaged by injuries early in the year and they have issues forward of centre, with scores of 53 and 66 in the opening two rounds.
Key midfielders Nathan Horbury and Cooper Leon are equal fifth in the league in average possessions per game with 34, but the Bloods are only averaging 41 inside 50s per game.
Sandhurst is only slightly in front in that department (43.5), but the Dragons appear to have a steadier back six and lead the league in clearances, thanks largely to new ruckman Hamish Hocking who presents a massive challenge for the height-deprived Bloods.
The good: The Dragons have three of the top six-ranked clearance players in the competition - Hamish Hosking, Lee Coghlan and Noah Walsh.
The bad: South Bendigo is the lowest scoring team in the competition through two rounds. The return of Kaiden Antonowicz a massive boost for the Bloods.
The ugly: The Dragons and Bloods are in the bottom three in the BFNL in scoring efficiency. The team that sharpens that area up the most on Saturday will probably get to sing the club song at about 5pm.
Tips: Adam Bourke - Sandhurst. Luke West - Sandhurst. Richard Jones - Sandhurst.
2.20pm, Saturday at Tannery Lane
On last week's form you'd expect Strathfieldsaye to have little trouble in disposing of Kyneton.
To be fair to Kyneton I'm prepared to give the Tigers a mulligan for their loss to Gisborne.
The Tigers were in injury trouble early, new faces are still gelling with their team-mates and Gisborne is very good.
Playing Strathfieldsaye is just as tough, but expect an improved performance from the Tigers this week.
Will they win? Probably not. A more competitive performance will be acceptable in terms of their goals this season.
If the Storm get a hold of them like Gisborne did, then talk of the Tigers being a potential finalist will be proven to be wide of the mark.
The good: James Schischka. Defender turned key forward has been outstanding for the Storm in the first round rounds.
The bad: Not often you can find a key area where the Storm is deficient, but the reigning premiers are second-last in forward 50 tackles so far this season.
The ugly: The Tigers have had a league-worst 30 chases in two games. In contrast, South Bendigo (102), Golden Square (95) and Kangaroo Flat (93) lead the BFNL.
Tips: Adam Bourke - Strathfieldsaye. Luke West - Strathfieldsaye. Richard Jones - Strathfieldsaye.
2.20pm, Saturday at Gardiner Reserve
The Magpies could well go from chocolates to boiled lollies in the space of a week.
Fresh from their first win in four years, the Pies play a Gisborne side that is firing on all cylinders.
Gisborne leads the league in contested disposals and no team through the first week had had more tackles inside forward 50 or forced more forward half turnovers.
When you have a forward line that includes Pat McKenna, Jack Scanlon, Josh Kemp and Ethan Foreman, those forward half turnovers generally lead to scores.
Castlemaine's structures have held up well in the first rounds. The Pies lead the league in intercept possessions and scoring efficiency.
Gisborne will win comfortably, but it should be a valuable learning experience for the improving Pies.
The good: You know your team is going well when you're as good with the footy as you are without it. The Dogs are first in contested disposals, seconds in kicks and contested marks, while they're also number one in forward 50 tackles, one percenters and blocks.
The bad: No team has had the ball in hand less times than Castlemaine through two rounds.
The ugly: Castlemaine and Eaglehawk have given away the most free kicks in the competition with 56 after two games.
Tips: Adam Bourke - Gisborne. Luke West - Gisborne. Richard Jones - Gisborne.
2.20pm, Saturday at Dower Park
Kangaroo Flat would have been bitterly disappointed with the performance against Golden Square on Easter Saturday.
How the young Roos bounce back from the heavy defeat will say plenty about where the Roos are heading in 2022.
The Hawks have improved in 2022, but it's still hard to get a gauge on just how far they can go.
The Hawks have shared the footy as well as any team in the competition through two rounds - they lead the league in score involvements.
The good: Darcy Richards' six-goal haul last week was a confidence-booster. In a team a touch light on for marking options, Richards is going to play a major if the Hawks are going to challenge the top three.
The bad: The young Roos are struggling to compete around the ball. The Roos are last in the league in contested disposals and centre clearances.
The ugly: Tackling is an issue for the Roos. The Flat have had just 55 effective tackles through two games. Sandhurst and Kyneton lead with 111 and 110 respectively.
Tips: Adam Bourke - Eaglehawk. Luke West - Eaglehawk. Richard Jones - Eaglehawk.
2.20pm, Saturday at Wade Street
Hard to make a case for Maryborough after the Pies' second-half fadeout against Castlemaine.
The positive for the Pies is that they're winning the ball okay - first in the league in centre clearances and second in contested disposals.
However, those good statistics aren't transferring into scoreboard pressure - the Pies are last in the league in marks inside 50.
The team you have to look after the ball against is Golden Square.
The Bulldogs put Kangaroo Flat to the sword last week in a ruthless display. If they dominate the midfield in the same manner this week then another big score will be on the cards.
The good: The running machines Jake Thrum and Jack Geary put on a clinic last week, picking up 91 possessions between them.
The bad: According to Premier Data, Square is last in the league in hard ball gets and midfield tackles. That wouldn't sit well with the coach.
The ugly: The Pies are haing too many lapses where they leak multiple goals in quick succession.
Tips: Adam Bourke - Golden Square. Luke West - Golden Square. Richard Jones - Golden Square.
Read more: Where your club rates in BFNL key statistics
Read more: Stats what I'm talkin' about - round two
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