COULD the reigning wooden-spooner beat the long-time powerhouse?
That’s the question dominating Warrnambool and District league discussions ahead of the most intriguing football match of round two.
Old Collegians and Kolora-Noorat, two much-changed sides, meet at Davidson Oval today with each attempting to preserve their unbeaten record.
The Warriors emphatically broke an 18-match losing streak by thrashing Nirranda by 75 points at Nirranda Recreation Reserve in their season opener.
Their recruits and returned players led the way. Aaron Williams, back after spending last winter playing cricket in England, was best afield.
Colby Rix, Daniel Weel and Eli Barker were also among the biggest contributors. Only three goals came from players who were regulars last season.
But it was a contrasting story at Noorat Recreation Reserve, where the Power led South Rovers by three points at half-time before pulling away to win by 45. Their clash today has the potential to be the closest since the 2011 WDFNL grand final, won by Kolora-Noorat by 15 points.
“They’ve been the benchmark for years. They’re going to be very tough to beat,” Old Collegians coach Daryl Beechey said.
“We’ll go out and go about our stylRe of footy, how we want to play and hopefully that’s good enough on the day.”
Beechey said “your guess is as good as mine” when asked about how well outsiders thought Kolora-Noorat would fare this season.
“They’ve still got plenty of good players even though they might’ve lost a few and they’ve got young kids who have come on too,” he said.
Such is the stability at Old Collegians that Beechey had the luxury of naming an unchanged side on Thursday night, adding teenager Ben Rantall as a substitute.
Kolora-Noorat made three changes, with Thomas Lenehan (broken nose), Paul McSween (ankle) and George O’Sullivan (unavailable) dropping out.
Tim Attrill, Damien Wynd, Mitchell Carlin, Luke Tebble and Warren Attrill come in, although selectors will need to omit two more players.
Kolora-Noorat coach Ben Kenna said he was pleased the Power could capitalise with goals when it clicked after half-time against Rovers last weekend.
He acknowledged his men would face the unknown today, although no more so if they were to play other any new-look side early in the season.
“They had a good win against Nirranda. They’ve got more than half a new side, Collegians, they’ll be unknown,” Kenna said.