PFNL 2018: Tigers bracing for ‘crucial' contest against in-form Centrals

The Pinjarra Tigers are preparing for a monumental test when they host the in-form Centrals coming off the bye at Sir Ross McLarty Oval this weekend.

Centrals were motoring along in their previous three games before the week off, pushing what was an unbeaten Baldivis to the limit before beating a scorching Rockingham line-up and demolishing a hapless Waroona.

Now they face one of the competition’s powerhouses on their own deck, in a game Tigers coach Troy Vidovich said would be crucial for both teams.

“It’s a pretty massive game for both of us really – if we drop one we lose touch with Baldivis at the top and if Centrals drop one they fall back in the race for a finals spot,” he said.

“We’re in round 11 now so these sorts of battles and the outcomes all get a little more serious.

“A win goes a long way for both teams.”

Pinjarra will be salivating at the thought of potentially moving 10 premiership points clear of Rockingham with a victory, as the Rams face the top-of-the-table Brumbies.

But a win for Centrals could see them draw even with the third-place Rockingham.

Key match-up

Dominant midfields

Centrals might have Pinjarra on pace, but the Tigers could argue they hold the upper hand when it comes to execution. 

Either way, both have the luxury of a forward line that can take over the game, so whichever midfield can win out should have a significant advantage.

Rob Beswick, Rory O’Brien and Lloyd Beever cover the miles for Pinjarra while Toby Gianatti and Tom Bennett are barometers for the Blues.

Something to watch for…

I like the idea of seeing who can make more of a scoreboard impact between in-form Centrals forward Ryan Henley and relatively new Tiger Leroy Jetta.

Jetta’s ability to find the goals at WAFL level is well documented, but he’s a fairly fresh face for the Tigers and may still be finding his feet.

At the other end, Henley comes into the game having kicked 10 in his side’s destruction of Waroona in their last game.

Should be interesting to see which forward can make the most of their chances.

The fixture

Sir Ross McLarty Oval, Sunday, 2.30pm