BIG GAME: The South Burnett Saints will fancy their chances against the reigning premiers University Cougars on Saturday.
BIG GAME: The South Burnett Saints will fancy their chances against the reigning premiers University Cougars on Saturday. Keagan Elder

Saints poised for biggest test so far

Australian Football: The South Burnett Saints are flying, off the back of a 56-point win over the South Toowoomba Bombers and on a four-game winning run that has them poised for a finals berth.

But after defeating the Bombers for the first time in club history, an even harder test awaits the Saints on Saturday when the University Cougars come to town.

The Cougars are the reigning AFL Darling Downs premiers, and have started the 2017 season undefeated. In round two this season, the Saints travelled to USQ Oval and left with only a 99-point defeat to show from it.

Fast-forward six weeks, and the Saints will fancy their chances of a major upset.

The Cougars uncharacteristically struggled against cellardwellers Toowoomba Tigers on Saturday, trailing by eight points at half time before finally kicking into gear in the final term.

On current form, one could argue the Saints enter Saturday's contest as favourites - but coach Paul Pressnell knows defeating the Cougars is easier said than done.

"This will be our best opportunity to beat them,” Pressnell said.

"We should have a few more back than we had (against the Bombers) too. We had maybe six or seven players out.”

A key to the Saints' four-game winning run has been the strength of rotations through the midfield, with any of 10 players moving through the position over the course of a match.

But perhaps even more impressive has been the play of key forwards Mitchell Francis and Jordan Pressnell, with the pair combining for 17 goals in the past two outings.

"Jordan and Mitch are our two big targets down there,” Pressnell said.

"Even if they don't win it one-on-one, they bring it to ground for our small forwards to take advantage of.”

What shapes as the contest of the season so far gets underway at Lyle Vidler Oval at 3.20pm on Saturday.

South Burnett

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