MFL | Chance for Moama to prove itself in clash against Rams

Pav attack: Nick Pavlou has been one of Moama’s best this season; the Pies will need him to fire against Deni on the weekend. Photo: Josh Huntly

The Moama Magpies will be looking for a four-quarter performance when they take on the Deniliquin Rams on Saturday in a clash that could shape the race for finals football.

Both the Magpies and Rams sit inside the Murray League’s top six and both hold identical 8-3 records.

But with the finals spots so tightly contested — just one win separates third and sixth — the four points could be key in deciding who faces who in the finals.

“It’s a big game, we just need to play our way,” Moama coach Sam Sheldon said.

“At the same time, it is no different to any other game — we just have to prepare right and hopefully come away with a win.”

After a 14-point loss against against Congupna last weekend that saw the Road overturn a half-time deficit, Sheldon said he was hoping for a complete performance from his side.

“We just have to play for four quarters. We were beating them all day and then fell over later in the game,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of sticking to our structures, believing in the process and keeping up or work rate.”

The Magpies sit in third spot on the ladder, but are yet to beat a side currently in the top six, having lost to Tongala, Mulwala and, most recently, Congupna.

It’s a trend Moama will be hoping to reverse, with the Pies set to face a diabolical run in the lead up to finals.

Moama will take on Deni (fifth) this week, followed by Mulwala (second), Cobram (first), Tongala (fourth) and Congupna (sixth).

“It’s going to be a pretty important run, we have to pinch a couple of those games to make finals,” Sheldon said.

“We are definitely going to know where we are at and what we’ll need to improve on afterwards, we’re looking forward to the challenge. If we train well and rock up each week, we will be more than competitive.

“We’re going to get a shot at them all between now and the end of the year. Hopefully we’ll make finals and we’ll know exactly what they look like and what we need to do.”

Youngster Lachlan Hogan will return to the Magpies’ side fresh off a three-goal game for GWS in the under-16 national championships.

A win could see third-placed Moama break away from the chasing pack, while defeat could see it slide all the way down to sixth.

Moama’s final two games of the season are against Nathalia and Numurkah, the two sides currently just outside the top six.