GNFL Round 6 preview: Rovers and Railways face off in top-of-the-table clash

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Railways' Jack Cocking.
Camera IconRailways' Jack Cocking. Credit: Justine Rowe Around the Traps

The GNFL’s top two teams — Railways and Rovers — will battle it out in the expected match of the round at the Rec on Saturday.

The Blues and Demons lead standings on 16 points — Rovers are sitting 1 per cent higher than third-placed Brigades also on 16 point — but the rest of the competition is a fair way behind.

But Railways coach Matt Powell says it may not stay that way.

“While there’s a gap between the top three and the others I definitely wouldn’t be writing any side off,” Powell said.

“Teams get full squads back in coming weeks and COVID will continue to impact all clubs and who knows what’s to come with that.”

The Blues opened with a 10-goal loss to Brigades followed by wins over Mullewa, Northampton, Chapman Valley and Towns. Several players have shone including Jesse Adamini and Jack Cocking with 23 and 15 goals, respectively.

“Jess is off to a very good start, he had a great preseason and was elevated to co-captaincy this year and leads by example — he’s talented, consistent and will continue to do his part,” Powell said.

“How exciting is Jack Cocking. (He) has a bright future and I love how he goes about his work, loves being at the club and is growing in confidence on and off the field.”

While Railways have gifted youngsters, they also have experience in Matt Boyle, Ben Saunders, Drew Tunbridge, Jesse Moore, Elliot Delaney and Matt and Peter Kimberley.

“We have a good balance, the experienced and the youth are working great together and it’s the same in reserves and colts which has good with so many player changes each week,” Powell said.

“I’m loving coaching — I’ve worked under some really good coaches so can draw on that and surrounded myself with good people — my assistants, runners, team managers and trainers make it enjoyable.”

Rovers are unbeaten but this will be their first real test. Among those to watch are Clune Medal prospects Chris Scott and Gabriel Parfitt, Josh Simpson, Dwayne Nevill and Dylan Curley.

Also tomorrow, Brigades should beat Chapman Valley at GBSC Park. Brigades’ list boasts Kim and Jayden Schofield, Jesse Casselton, Graham Sandy, Jamie and Kris Ryder, Michael Quick and Dale Williamson to name a few.

The Valley do seem to lift a cog for Brigades but need Aaron Thomas to kick goals and hope Jaiden Thompson, Ringo McKenna and Tom Walker fire.

There is a Sunday game with Mullewa at home against Northampton. Mullewa are keen to end their losing streak and have matchwinners in Kristian and Leedham Papertalk, veteran Shane Bonney and Morris Comeagain.

But Norths should prevail. Tyler Caddy has impressed and Nathaniel Mourambine, Harrison Pluschke, Flynn Dillon, Trent Simpson, Ethan Brown, Beau Walker are fine players.

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