Stopping top trio can shape Cats’ destiny

Damien Sexton
Damien Sexton

FINLEY coach Damien Sexton says the giant task of shutting down Rumbalara stars Damian Cupido, Brad Dick and Nathan Lovett-Murray is the key to the Cats’ chances of winning Saturday’s top-of-the-table blockbuster at Jerilderie.

The trio of former AFL players have had a major impact for the league’s big improvers this year, with coach Cupido and ex-Collingwood livewire Dick in sensational form.

Sexton said stopping them was critical if Finley wanted to remain ahead of the pack.

“It’s going to be a real challenge for the group,” Sexton said.

“They obviously have AFL experience and are superstars of the comp- etition.

“They’re a fantastic team this year.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been in a position to create our own destiny and not rely on other results.

“We need to win to keep that.

“If we lose, we’re back to the pack.”

Sexton said the trio had demonstrated their impact on the scoreboard.

Cupido leads all comers with 44 goals in nine games, while Dick has slotted 32.

“You’ve got to be really mindful of ... kicking goals wins matches,” Sexton said.

“Your midfield can be magnificent and your backline solid, but if you don’t kick goals, you don’t win games.”

Finley was scheduled to play its first match at home this week after a revamp of its facilities.

That has been delayed, but the Cats should return home soon.

“That’s been undersold — we are 8-2, which is a fantastic effort considering,” Sexton said.

Finley should regain big man Dane Maxwell from injury.

Echuca United will be out to bounce back from last week’s loss to Rumbalara with a win at home against Mulwala.

However, the Lions should enter that clash full of confidence after toppling rival Barooga.

Elsewhere, Deniliquin Rams are starting to gain momentum and should continue their charge up the ladder with a win over Numurkah.

Nathalia hosts Barooga in another key battle.

Cobram hosts Moama and Congupnga travels to Tongala.