TOORADIN-DALMORE v CORA LYNN
Where is it being played?: Koo Wee Rup Rec Reserve
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:00pm, Saturday August 31st
It’s the side with premierships in its core DNA, versus the side aiming to make its mark in the biggest way possible in its new competition.
That’s the reality of the matchup featuring Cora Lynn and Tooradin-Dalmore at Kooweerup this Saturday in one hell of a blockbuster preliminary final.
Many of the Cobras have been there, and done that multiple times before, and those who haven’t are looking to create their own legacy in the famous colours.
The Seagulls, on the other hand, are entering uncharted territory.
Finally once again competing in a competition in which they can truly thrive, they’re looking to make their biggest statement yet and earn the right to take on the snarling Bulldogs for the title.
The stage couldn’t be set for a mouth-watering battle – at the same venue as the qualifying final.
On that day, the Seagulls got the better of the Cobras by 42 points.
But when the two sides first met back in Round 1, it was the Cobras winning by an almost identical margin – 45 points.
But Gulls coach Lachie Gillespie and his group are, effectively, looking at their matchup as a nil-all draw so far.
“We look at it like we’re starting again they’ll be different to Round 1, and the first final,” he said of the Cobras.
“We’ll have our eyes pretty wide open. It’ll be totally different.
“For us, we know we’ll have to play at our absolute best.
“This isn’t a grand final, but it’s make or break – your absolute last chance.
“You can panic and fall over, or you can be really hungry and raring to go.”
After heading along to Korumburra on Sunday to witness the Cobras in full flight, Gillespie and his brains trust know the danger at hand.
“Cora Lynn is one of those sides that when they’re in front and get space on you, they’re very, very hard to stop,” he said. “For us, it’ll be a consistency thing. “We know we’ll stuff up and turn the footy over – it’s more about the effort and work-rate, and playing for each other. Our game style and game plan is about evenness – working really hard, being a great team member, and having the trust of your team mates.
“But Cora Lynn is just such a dangerous side. Their intensity was huge (on Sunday against the Demons), and they can score heavily and quickly.
“Within half a quarter they can have a game iced. If you don’t play to your best, you can get chopped up quick.
“We totally back ourselves to play some good footy. I don’t think either side will play poorly – it’s who can follow the team rules best, and who can do it for longer.”
Stronger, harder, and better for longer that’s an aim the Cobras share with the Gulls.
They’ll enter the big game this week riding a wave of renewed confidence, following their earlier hiccup in the qualifying final.
They’ve learned plenty of lessons from that day. Now it’s just about putting them into action.
“Our strength is our forward line and key forwards we have up there, and Tooradin plays a really strong defensive brand of footy and can restrict them,” David Main said.
“The first time we could get through their defense (in Round 1), and the second time around we couldn’t.
“There aren’t too many sides that can go the full-ground press and execute it well – but Tooradin and Phillip Island can, and have it make a positive impact for them.
“Last week we got a first class lesson on what not to do when a side is controlling the game.
“Now four quarter efforts are what matter most.
“A big focus for us will be, whichever game style or structure we go with, being better for longer.”
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Match preview written by Russell Bennett reporting for Pakenham Gazette. To view original article in full online subscribe to PG here.
Article image credit: Andrew Lindsay via Gippsland Footy