Swans look for lost form

COMING THROUGH: Swan Hill’s Luke Phelan looks to blaze a trail between Saints Josh Stone and Ryan O’Sullivan and teammate Xavier Mertz in last week’s game at the Showgrounds.PICTURE — Pamela BlackmanSWAN Hill will be desperate to snap a two-game winning streak when it travels to Lalbert tomorrow.

After winning their first 10 games of the season, the Swans year has been coloured somewhat with losses to Koondrook Barham and Tooleybuc Manangatang.

Tomorrow’s Central Murray Football Netball League match of the round against Mallee Eagles gives the second-placed side a chance to get back on the winners’ list.

Josh Gaylor and Tim Ruffles will be returning to the line-up, with no confirmed outs at this stage.

Swans coach Xavier Moloney said injuries had started to take their toll on his side’s season.

He said there wasn’t too much wrong otherwise.

“I think our effort has been consistently high but we haven’t had the players,” Moloney said.

An interesting battle looms in the midfield at Lalbert tomorrow.

One of the competition’s best midfielders, Moloney will lead the Swans in a contest that will define the match.

“I think their strength is in the midfield. They’ve got some strong bodies in there and so we need to focus on being strong over the ball and getting first use out of the centre,” he said.

Toby Thoolen will take on the lion’s share of the Swans’ rucking duties in an interesting stoush with Warren Carlyle, while Eagles coach Boden Alexander will also look to play a prominent role after missing last week.

Moloney said the Swans’ plans in the midfield would be finalised in the lead-up to the match.

“We might look to play a shutdown role on one of their midfielders I’m not sure. We’ll assess that [before the game],” he said.

Moloney said the Swans were keen to re-join the winners’ list.

“Obviously we’ve had a good run up until our first loss and we want to get back to winning and playing some consistent footy,” he said.

In the run home, the Swans face Cohuna, Nyah Nyah West and Woorinen with a bye in Round 17.

A win tomorrow would go a long way to sewing up second spot.

The Eagles’ run home seems relatively straightforward.

After tomorrow’s game a clutch match against Woorinen next week, the Eagles face Balranald.

A tough match against Kerang leads into the final round match against Lake Boga.

If the Eagles can get a win at home tomorrow it would give them some vital breathing space from sixth-placed Cohuna.

It would then be a launch pad for an important clash with the Tigers.

At this stage though, the Swans appear likely to have too much firepower.

A break-even result in ruck would probably be enough for the Swans to get the upper hand and supply their forwards with chances in front of goal.

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