TDFL | Plenty at stake for Wahgunyah's finals credentials as in-form Mitta United awaits

HARD NOSED: Wahgunyah's Dean Skinner takes a hit to the nose during this tackle on Beechworth's Brayden Carey last weekend. Picture: MARK JESSER

HARD NOSED: Wahgunyah's Dean Skinner takes a hit to the nose during this tackle on Beechworth's Brayden Carey last weekend. Picture: MARK JESSER

Saturday’s clash between Wahgunyah and Mitta is set to cause a major shake-up to the Tallangatta League ladder by the end of the weekend.

Both sides are coming off massive wins and hold down a place in the top five, but as the season enters the second half, it’s matches like this that become more and more important.

Wahgunyah currently sits second on percentage from Rutherglen and Kiewa-Sandy Creek, but all three are on 28 points.

Meanwhile, after a slow start, Mitta has shown why it went all the way to the grand final last year, winning five of its last six matches to jump to fifth on 22 points.

The perennial competition threats brushed aside Wodonga Saints last weekend and have had a good recent record against Wahgunyah, beating them in both meetings last season. 

Wahgunyah coach Brett Skinner is hoping his side can get back to playing more consistently after a roller-coaster month.

“Since the bye, we’ve gone loss, win, loss, win,” Skinner said.

“We played two good sides in Kiewa and Rutherglen and were a bit disappointed in our results against them, but we feel like we’re getting back to some consistent footy in the past two weeks.”

Nick Brockley will return to the lineup after missing five games, while Matt Grantham was a late withdrawal against Beechworth last weekend and is back in the fold.

Talented youngster Brydon Robins returned to the club through the reserves last weekend after a stint with Wangaratta Rovers.

“It’s pleasing to see him back at the club as a past junior, which fits in with what we’re doing,” Skinner said.

“He’s enjoying his footy and he’s back with his mates, which I think is the biggest thing for Brydon.

“He’s well and truly in the mix, if it’s not this week, it won’t be too far away.

“It’s a good one to get before June 30, that’s for sure.”

Skinner sees Mitta’s belief as their biggest strength.

“They’ve been a powerhouse around the league for probably the last 10 to 15 years and they walk into every game believing no matter what side they roll out, they’ve got the toughness and the mental ability to win every game they play,” Skinner said.

“There’s no hiding behind the fact that Wahgunyah has struggled against these guys in the past, but we feel at home we can take it on and hit them with everything we’ve got.”

Around the league, Tallangatta will look to build on last week’s upset over Rutherglen with its third straight victory of the season when it heads to Yackandandah.

Barnawartha is hoping to begin a climb back towards the top five with a win at Beechworth. Thurgoona will look to dish out more pain to the Wodonga Saints.

Rutherglen will be out to bounce back when it faces Dederang-Mount Beauty, while Kiewa-Sandy Creek can stay right in the mix for a top three spot if it takes care of Chiltern.