Melbourne & Footscray looking to secure top four spots

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By James Wong

The Melbourne Unicorns host Footscray at Romains Reserve this Saturday in a top four clash that will see both teams trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Just two points separate the four teams from three to six on the ladder and with Endeavour Hill (5th) and Moorabbin (6th) also squaring off this weekend there could be a shake-up of the top four.

Melbourne head coach Tumai Edwards has noticed the rise in standard of the competition this season.

“I think all the teams are definitely improved from last season so there’s going to be a tough game week in and week out.”

Edwards expects a physical test against Footscray and said the breakdown will be a key area of focus for his team.

“Against Power House we were quite strong and then against Box Hill they found a few weaknesses. We were a bit slow reacting around the breakdown area and with Footscray being so physically strong we’re going to need numbers there to get onto the ball early.

“Footscray is always a tough game for us, they’re a big physical side and it’s shown in their first few rounds that they’ve definitely been able to score some points.

“They’ve got their strong ball carriers but they’ve also got a bit of flair our wide so. They’re an unpredictable team and once they get that front foot rolling they’re very hard to contain.”

Melbourne are coming off a bye and are yet to play two weeks in a row this season which has not been an ideal start said Edwards.

“It has been tough because we only came through preseason with one trial match against Quins, Really, this is only our fourth game of the season including trials, hence why we have been a bit patchy in games because guys are still adapting to what we’re trying to achieve.

“But in saying that, as a coach, it’s still pleasing we’re coming away with the results.”