CAMPERDOWN coach Bernard Moloney is claiming underdog status for tomorrow’s cut-throat first semi-final against North Warrnambool Eagles at Friendly Societies’ Park.
It might seem strange the coach of a side that finished second on the ladder, two spots higher than its opponent, would concede favouritism, especially when his side has a 2-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings this season. But Moloney had a blunt reason.
“North I think are favourites, they have won a final and we have lost one,” Moloney said.
The Magpies are on the rebound after a 12-point qualifying final loss to Cobden last Saturday while the Eagles enter the match confident after a 15-point victory over Koroit in the elimination final.
“We are a good side and we have to go out with a confidence we can beat anyone,” Moloney said. “Cobden kicked straight and we didn’t. It was our poor kicking after half-time that cost us the game. We kicked 6.9 to 3.3.”
Moloney knows his side has a fight ahead of it today. While the Magpies won the first two games between the pair earlier in the season, the Eagles won their last showdown by 19 points. He also has a number of injury concerns, including a serious eye complaint to star midfielder Sam Chapman.
“They are a quality side and use the ball well,” Moloney said of North. He said the Magpies had to pressure the Eagles and limit their space so they couldn’t measure passes to their spearhead, coach David Haynes.
Haynes said the Eagles, who have won seven of their past nine matches, respected the Magpies.
“Camperdown haven’t had the best second half of the year but they are a quality side,” he said.
“We have to nullify their better players.”
Haynes said the Eagles would not only concentrate on Chapman, a noted match-winner, but several others.
He said the key to the game would be the midfield battles.
He hoped ruckman Jordan Dillon, who was in fine form last week, would give his side first use of the footy.
“Finals footy is won by the winner of the contested footy. Whoever wins the contested footy more often than not will be in front on the scoreboard,” he said.