Zebras look to shake traditional rivalry hoodoo

Traditional rivals Olympia Warriors and Tilford Zebras face off in Match of the Round in Round 3 of the Victory League.

Traditional rivals Olympia Warriors and Tilford Zebras face off in Match of the Round in Round 3 of the Victory League.

In a rematch of the 2014 Summer Cup Grand Final, Zebras will look to break a six match winless record up against the Warriors at Olympia-s home ground, Warrior Park.

Olympia beat Zebras in the Summer Cup Final to continue their rich vein of form against their fierce rivals.

The Warriors come in confident after achieving what very few teams have, in winning away against Devonport at Valley Road. Coach Glen McNeill lauded his players efforts in recording the famous win on the road.

“Last week was a good test for our playing group and they showed character in what is a tough road trip,” McNeill said.

Both sides will be searching for a win to stay close to the top of the table.

“This week is a highlight of the roster for us as we play our traditional rivals Tilford Zebras.

“There is no doubt they will be desperate to get maximum points in order to stay in touch with the rest of the competition. We are therefore preparing for a tough encounter against a very physical side.

“We will continue to work on our shape and structure and look to improve the pace of our passing.

“There were no significant injuries incurred against Devonport so it is anticipated that we will have a full squad to choose from,” McNeill said.

Tilford Zebras went down to South Hobart last week but will be looking to bounce back with three points. Zebras Coach Jed Donoghue said Round 2 showed that South Hobart and Olympia are the teams to beat.

“It is clear from Round 2 that South Hobart and Olympia are the form teams of the competition.

Donoghue is hoping his side can turn it around from their Round 2 display.

“We have to work harder, defend higher up the park and take our chances in front of goal.”

The rivalry always brings a fiery, action-packed clash and Donoghue expects Warriors to come in confident.

“Olympia had a good away result playing against Devonport last weekend and that will give them lots of confidence.

“They also tend to lift against us so we will have to weather the storm and try to play our game.

“It is key we defend well from front to back and keep better possession of the ball,” Donoghue said.

Tilford Zebras will be without first choice keeper Matthew Ferguson, who was injured in the dying moments of their game last week. Nathan Pitchford will take his place in between the sticks and Marcello Marchioli will return from a week on the sidelines with a knee injury.