CAMPERDOWN coach Bernard Moloney says the Magpies are “a confident underdog” in the elimination final against North Warrnambool Eagles tomorrow.
The Magpies suffered 26 and 28-point losses to the Eagles in the home-and-away season.
“We are respectful of North. We played them last year in the finals and they embarrassed us,” Moloney said.
“I am really confident but we have to play four quarters of really consistent, hard footy. If we allow North a 10-minute lapse they are a side which can really hurt you and that happened to us twice this year.”
Moloney said Camperdown’s form had improved.
“I think our defensive pressure has been terrific over the past month and we have a potent forward line when we use the footy,” he said.
“Our use of the footy has been terrific and our run out of the back line and link-up.”
Moloney said Maskell medallist Sam Chapman would play a midfield-half- forward role.
“He is one of the few players who can kick a goal from outside 50 on the run,” he said.
The Magpies had two strong sessions on the track this week for the cut-throat final at Koroit’s Victoria Park.
“We have done a lot of long ground work and concentrated on hitting targets and getting our spread right and getting our defence right,” he said.
“I went and had a look at the ground yesterday and it looks really good. The centre circle is a bit uneven but as far as grass cover and presentation, it is terrific.”
Moloney said the Eagles were a damaging combination, capable of devastating bursts.
“They are very strong in the midfield and they are quicker than us,” he said.
“They have a potent forward line with talls and smalls and their rebound footy is also very strong.
“So we have to keep it in once it’s in our forward line.”
North Warrnambool Eagles coach David Haynes said negating opposition key forward Dan Casey’s influence was imperative.
Casey won the league goalkicking award with 75 majors and is coming off a 14-goal haul against South Warrnambool.
Brendan Murfett is likely to start on Casey, with Darcy Keast, Mitch Bowman and Tom Batten also capable of playing on the Pies spearhead.
“We need to stop their supply to Casey,” Haynes said.
“He has been their main target up forward and if we can limit his influence they will find it hard to score.
“Darcy played on him the past couple of times and Brendan has been the in-form backman the last six weeks.”
Haynes said the Magpies had a number of game-changing players, including Luke Molan at centre half-back. “Sam Chapman is a quality player and Khan Beckett has been underrated this year through the middle,” he said.
“They have quality players who if they get their hands on the ball will be dangerous.”
The Eagles finalised their side last night. North Ballarat Roosters tall Marcus Darmody was named on Thursday night, as was North Ballarat Rebels defender Bowman.
Camperdown made one change, bringing in key defender Nick Bateman after a one-week spell with concussion.