This week’s game between Port and Solly is crucial for their push for a top two finish, with With both sides sitting on five wins and two losses.
Port has been building this year and would be pleased with last week’s efforts beating the Lions.
It had young players Aaron Featherstonaugh, Mathew Thomson, Jayden Corrieri and Nelson Magor in its best.
Port’s best players are amongst the strongest in the league but it is now also building a solid group of second and third tier players to give it an even contribution across the ground.
Port still has some injury concerns with Jacob Neary having shoulder trouble but outside of that it look primed and ready to avenge its round three loss against the Cats.
For Sollies, it will be pleased with where it is sitting at this stage of the year having only won seven games in total in each of its past two seasons.
However, it will be bitterly disappointed with last week’s efforts where too few stood up.
As with Ports, Solly has some quality top line players but when it has won this year it has been an all round team performance which is what it will be looking for this week.
Port has a number of players that can run through its midfield and will be looking for first use from SGL ruckman Nelson Magor.
Aaron Casey will look to continue his good form against Sollies where he has always racked up possessions in recent games.
Terry Hall will most likely resume his battle tagging Lindsay Bearman.
Zac Hutchinson is having a break out year on the wing and he will be an important player in pushing the Pirie Bulldogs claim for the two points.
Sollie’s new ruckman Shard Malchow was outplayed last week against Centrals and he will need to lift this week to give the Cats’ mid-field a chance to compete.
Clayton Millard returned from injury and found plenty of the football and along with Bearman, Richard Cable, Ryan Saracino and Matthew Turner they will be determined to break free from the stoppages and send the Cats forward.
Micahel Burford at full forward and Greg Phillipps are the two key attacking options for Ports and they accounted for the bulk of its score the last time these teams met, with Phillipps kicking five majors.
Expect Zak Siemer to go to Phillipps as Sollies most versatile back man while either Jarrad Davies or Ryley Bateson will get the job on Burford.
Thomas Underwood has been impressive for Ports and will most likely be matched up on by Graham Cooke.
Sollies failed to use the ball well when going forward last week and, despite full forward Scott McIntyre kicking four, it looked incapable of kicking a winning score.
This week it will see the return of Ben Goodridge, who creates a lot of pressure inside 50m.
It will be hoping for Matt Stringer and Bearman to get amongst the goals as well.
Ben Luteria did not play last time these sides met and he will no doubt go to McIntyre, while Brodie Mudge may continue his time in the backlines with Chad Tobin to take Stringer and Corrieri to get a job on the resting on ballers across half back.
Everywhere you look there are some great match ups in this game and if it is as tight and entertaining as round three the crowd will be in for a real treat.
We seem to say this every week but the Cats really need to step up and prove its finals credentials especially after its lacklustre performance last week, which now opens the door for Centrals.
Port will be looking to turn the tables on the round three result and has no doubt improved since that game with four wins, including a thumping of top of the table Souths.
The equation is simple, the team that wants it the most and is harder at the contest will get the two points and go a game clear in second.