Will Redbacks’ roll continue?

Jayden Weichard and his Redbacks' teammates will be looking to back up the first fortnight with a similar performance against East Malvern. 400988 Picture: ROB CAREW.

By Jonty Ralphsmith


Undefeated Southern Division 2 sides Hampton Park and East Malvern are set for battle on Saturday at Robert Booth Reserve.

Having been upfront about the challenges that could await in 2024, the Redbacks have won their first two games in 2024, with Round 2’s victory over Doveton showing a level of grit often absent last season.

The new recruits appear to have aided their willingness to spread, with Saturday’s game proving they could run the game out and offset the opponent’s style despite limited rotations.

The caution the Redbacks applied to keep Doveton ruck Dylan Chapman out of the game will this week need to be transferred to star East Malvern goalkicker Isaac Morrisby.

Their go-to man inside 50, Morrisby has seven goals for the season, and will prove a nightmare for an undersized defence, highlighting the importance of two-way running in the midfield in round 3.

As much as Hampton Park did right by beating Doveton by a point, coach Hayden Stanton will need his men to convert their dominance earlier to give themselves the best shot against a much-improved East Malvern.

Should the Redbacks get over the line, the draw will open up, with the winless Skye and newly promoted Endeavour Hills on the horizon.

Elsewhere, Doveton will be favoured to bounce back against Skye; Endeavour Hills will be well-positioned to continue its hot start to 2024 against a fresh-faced Keysborough, while Cranbourne will be searching for its first win of the season on the road against Port Melbourne.

Tips: Hampton Park v EAST MALVERN, DOVETON v Skye, Keysborough v ENDEAVOUR HILLS, PORT MELBOURNE v Cranbourne.