TAC Cup preview: Round 11

Eastern Ranges midfielder Dylan Clarke in the 2015 TAC Cup Grand Final (Photo: AFL Photos)
Eastern Ranges midfielder Dylan Clarke in the 2015 TAC Cup Grand Final (Photo: AFL Photos)

TAC Cup club seasons are on the line in Round 11 of the competition, which sees a number of tantalising match-ups.

Opening the round is the Gippsland Power hosting the Western Jets at Morwell, which has become a sacred home for the Power that has seen them play above and beyond what they might away from home.

They will need to draw on all their strength to collect the four points, which would only be the second time they have done so all season.

For the Jets, losing is simply not an option.

With Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons fighting the Jets for eighth spot, a loss would be devastating for the metro side.

Over at Shepley Oval, what is expected to be an under strength Dandenong Stingrays take on the Calder Cannons.

On face value it should be a one-sided contest, but with so many Stingrays top players missing due to the Under 18s Championships, the Cannons are in with a strong chance.

Calder has improved in the last month and could well sniff an upset here on a ground that the Stingrays have made their own.

Up north, Bendigo Pioneers have a huge opportunity to keep their finals chances well and truly alive should they knock off cellar dwellers Northern Knights.

They might miss one or two players who will have representative duty, but at home in front of a big crowd, the Pioneers will go in favourites.

The fact they have not played a final series in a long time should also spur them onto win and with a few more winnable games coming up, they need all the points they can get.

The match of the round is likely to be played at Eureka Stadium where the North Ballarat Rebels are hosting the Sandringham Dragons.

Both sides are expected to be missing players, but with a top four spot on the line, both sides will be desperate to win.

If the Rebels lose, a double chance may go begging, however a win will see them right back in contention.

On Sunday, Albury welcomes the Murray Bushrangers for their annual home game in the town, hosting the Eastern Ranges.

Murray are one of the most hit by representative football, but had no problems disposing of the Pioneers last week despite missing key players.

This week should be a little tougher with the Ranges desperate to secure a finals spot, however the Bushrangers will still go in as favourites for the clash.

In the final match of round 11, Geelong Falcons will meet the Oakleigh Chargers at Simonds Stadium.

The Falcons will be red-hot favourites going into this clash and are expected to extend their lead on the rest of the competition with a win.

Oakleigh have been relying on bottom-agers to win matches while many of their top-agers are out, and there is no bigger test in 2016 than the Falcons at Simonds.

While Oakleigh are not without a chance, it will be a big ask for the young Chargers to get the job done on Sunday.

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