WITH the Vic Metro and school football bye, both the Sandringham Dragons and Eastern Ranges will head into their standalone Round 9 clash with fairly healthy looking sides. Alastair Richards and Xavier Fry return for their respective teams after a stint with Vic Metro and one would assume they are not playing in Wednesday’s final clash against South Australia. Those still missing from the team include Ben King, Bailey Smith, Angus Hanrahan and James Rendell (Sandringham) as well as James Blanck (Eastern) who look to have retained their spots in the Metro side for Wednesday’s clash – deservedly so with some impressive performances at National level.
The Dragons are bolstered with the return of Dawit McNeish, Nicholas Stamatis and Ryan O’Meara who are among eight inclusions, while Kai Owens, Sam Sofronidis and Harry Bede are among six confirmed outs. For the Ranges, they have also made a number of changes, with Fry leading eight inclusions, while six players have been confirmed as outs. Caleb Quirk and Thomas Lockman are among those into the side, while Callum Norris and Jarrod Gilbee were listed among the omissions.
The ladder ramifications from the clash are simple – if Sandringham can win, the Dragons will leapfrog Oakleigh Chargers into fifth. If Eastern Ranges win, they will leapfrog the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels into tenth. A large enough win could also see them overtake Geelong Falcons in ninth. But after a loss last round, the Ranges will just be keen to bounce back and record their third win in four games. The midfield clash should be enticing with Richards, Liam Stocker and Harry Houlahan taking on Kye Quirk, Adrian Kalcovski and Joel Burleigh in the middle with Darcy Chirgwin and Mitch Mellis among the outside runners.
The key position defenders in Will Kennedy and Corey Watts have been in good form of late for the Dragons and will look to contain the Eastern forward line. The Eastern defence has been solid as well with Ben Cardamone regaining his early season form and will look to combine with Fry for some good rebound out of the back half. In a game where Sandringham will rightfully head in as favourites at home, Eastern will hope its midfield can get on top and kick a winning score.
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. EASTERN RANGES
Round 9 – Saturday, June 30, 12pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham
B: 18. A. Seaton, 69. C. Watts, 45. J. Voss
HB: 14. R. O’Meara, 33. W. Kennedy, 11. N. Stamatis
C: 72. D. Chirgwin, 2. A. Richards, 19. S. Forbes
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 48. J. Worrell, 39. J. Florent
F: 13. T. Brimble, 61. F. McAsey, 52. C. Dean
R: 59. A. Courtney, 6. H. Houlahan, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 51. N. Burke, 66. R. Byrnes, 26. F. Maginness, 21. D. McNeish, 53. H. Ralphsmith, 46. L. Witts
23P: 35. G. Grey
In: R. Byrnes, G. Grey, D. McNeish, A. Richards, N. Stamatis, R. O’Meara, L. Witts, M. Bergman
Out: C. Jones, L. Butler, C. Langford, K. Owens, S. Sofronidis, H. Bede
B: 10. C. Black, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 20. B. Cardamone
HB: 23. X. Fry, 18. B. McCormack, 25. L. Vassis
C: 4. R. Clausen, 8. J. Burleigh, 11. M. Mellis
HF: 1. B. Bredin, 42. T. Lockman, 3. H. Chinn
F: 27. J. Jaworski, 36. S. Kapahnke, 28. L. Kruger
R: 58. R. Smith, 24. K. Quirk, 2. A. Kalcovski
Int: 38. M. Briggs, 53. J. Drake, 5. R. Einsporn, 16. T. Garner, J. Kritopoulos, 22. C. Quirk, 33. B. Tahlambouris
23P: 51. D. Reynolds
In: J. Drake, B. Tahlambouris, D. Reynolds, T. Lockman, M. Briggs, J. Kritopoulos, C. Quirk, X. Fry
Out: C. Leon, L. Munro, L. Gawel, C. Norris, K. Crosby, J. Gilbee