Round 11 preview: Sandringham vs Werribee

Returning from the bye, Werribee will be out to secure its third win on the trot when it meets Sandringham at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday.


Sunday 16 June
2.10pm at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham
Radio coverage: Southern FM 88.3 & Casey Radio 97.7FM


Narrow losses in rounds 6 and 7 to Port Melbourne and Footscray respectively evened the win/loss ratio for Werribee after a strong start to the season, but consecutive wins against Frankston and Casey before the bye has positioned the club for an assault on the top four with a nine-game stretch until its third and final bye of the regular season. Sitting in 6th spot on the VFL ladder with a 5-3 record, the “big W” are a game outside the top four along with three other teams including round 11 opponents Sandringham (8th). After heavy defeats in the opening two rounds, the Zebras have bounced back and held their nerve, winning five of their past six games by an average margin of under 10 points.


The two sides last met in round 8, 2018 at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, but it was a day to forget for Werribee as Sandringham romped to a 51-point win.
The Zebras enter this clash having secured the points in six of the last seven encounters, including the past four on their home deck. Werribee’s last triumph at Trevor Barker Oval was way back in round 7, 2014.


Can Werribee get up for Domic’s debut & Coughlan’s milestone?
After a stint on Geelong’s VFL list last year, 19-year-old running machine Aiden Domic will finally take to the field for his first VFL game as Werribee’s 23rd man. Dominant performances in the AFL Victoria Young Guns Series and consistent form for his local club Bell Park in the Geelong Football League earned Domic his “big W” debut. Reliable defender Nick Coughlan will also celebrate his own milestone on Sunday, game 50, coincidentally against his former side. Since joining Werribee at the start of last season following 19 games as a St Kilda-listed player with Sandringham and seven games with Footscray in 2015, Coughlan has been a pivotal member of the back six, often tasked with curtailing the opposition’s most dangerous forward.

Can Sandringham’s spine be stopped?
St Kilda’s injury list has shrunk in recent weeks which has seen a number of quality players get miles in the legs at VFL level. On Sunday, Werribee will have to contend with Sandy’s “big three”; Jake Carlisle, Dan Hannebery and Max King, among a group of up to 13 AFL-listed players. Carlisle will play his first game at any level this season after recovering from a back injury and will undoubtedly be a force down back. Hannebery made his return before the bye and was dominant on the inside, gathering 27 disposals and laying five tackles. The much-hyped King has made an instant impact, booting 10 goals in his first four games back from an ACL injury, with his contested marking a feature.

Who wins the midfield matchup?
Werribee’s on-ball brigade of Michael Barlow, Matt Hanson, Tom Gribble, Josh Clayton, Dom Brew and Joe Maishman are ranked fourth in the competition for disposals and have formed one of the most dominant midfield combinations. A dynamic and even forward line has reaped the rewards from those further afield, and are averaging 89 points a game (#3), aided by a score accuracy just shy of 60% (#3).
Similarly, Sandringham’s midfield of David Armitage, Hunter Clark, Brede Seccull, Kade Answerth and Nick Hind have also been a force this season and have benefited from Billy Longer’s dominance in the ruck.
But with Longer injured, and Armitage, Clark and Hind called up by St Kilda, will the Zebras have the depth to cover?


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