GNFL round 10 preview: Railways search for rhythm as local football returns from country week bye

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Railways were victorious in their previous meeting in round 2.
Camera IconRailways were victorious in their previous meeting in round 2. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

While much of the focus on the weekend is on Sunday’s WAFL clash and JK curtain-raiser, the game with the biggest ramifications for the GNFL ladder will be when Railways host Rovers on Saturday.

The Blues currently sit in third place with a 5-2 record after winning their last two games in a row while Rovers are four points back coming off a big loss to Brigades before the bye.

It has been a stop-start season for the Blues having had both the byes early in the season which saw them play just three games in the first five rounds.

But they are now gearing up for a busy backend with the country week general bye representing the last break for their players this season.

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With no general bye before finals should they go all the way this year the Blues could play up to eight straight games in a row.

Coach John Reynolds admits it has been a tricky season so far.

“It has been difficult with the byes early,” he said. “Ideally, you’d like to think it means we can come into the home stretch a bit fresher but we’ve actually been hit with some really nasty injuries.

“So it’s kind of worked against us in that sense and now it’s all about just trying to time our run and peak at the right time.”

Railways have only had one win against a top-four side this season coming against the Rovers in round 2 and Reynold’s said they’re still a work in progress.

“Even now coming up to round 10 it’s still been really breaky for the squad we haven’t really been able to pull together three games of consistent style,” he said.

“We’re still looking at our filling out who’s best in our structures and some of our positional play.”

“But that’s footy, he hasn’t been perfect but we won’t be using it as an excuse.”

Reynold anticipates a tough clash on the weekend with Saturday representing a big chance for both sides to solidify finals hopes.

“They’re always a really hard side to match up on,” he said.

“We’ve got to give them the respect they deserve they’ve got some really damaging players.”

“We’ll try to bring our brand of footy and hopefully we can time our form right come finals.”

Reynolds also praised the performances of those who represented the GNFL at country week.

“I spoke to Leith about how I guys went and by the sound of it they did really well,” he said.

“I know Ryan Le Tessier wasn’t 100 per cent fit but played well as did Drew (Tunbridge).

“I would have loved to have a few more names in the side but again injuries to the likes of Jesse Adamini and Henry Anderson didn’t help.”

In the other Saturday games, Brigades head out to Mullewa with the league leaders highly likely to expand their already healthy percentage of 301 per cent.

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