A BIG round of matches on Saturday will play a big part in determining what the Wimmera league finals series will look like.
The round 16 encounters will go a long way to deciding positions in the top three and five, as well as potential preliminary and grand final venues.
Wimmera Football League chief commissioner Trevor Albrecht said there had been games that could go either way in every round.
“We’re set for a really good three weeks, but this Saturday will be telling,” he said.
Four points and percentage separates the fifth and sixth-placed sides ahead of the round.
A win for the home side would open up an eight-point gap but the sides could end the round split by just percentage.
“Stawell’s form has just been getting better while the Warrack Eagles have been up and down,” Albrecht said.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Stawell get over the top.”
The Horsham Demons will go a long way to securing consecutive minor premierships if the side can overcome Ararat for a second time this season.
Both sides come into the match with injury concerns but are wary of the stakes.
A loss for the Rats could see the side fall out of the top three depending on the result between the Southern Mallee Giants and Horsham Saints.
A resounding round 15 win against Dimboola allowed the Saints’ percentage to receive a boost large enough to overtake Ararat’s.
“Ararat was really impressive last week but will want to try and knock off Horsham before finals to give themselves a real sense they are right at the top,” Albrecht said.
“It can be a real tumble at the moment for sides that lose within that top five.
The Saints’ form can be determined a lot by whether they have their Rebels players – I think if they get them back for finals they will surprise a few people.”
If the matches fall the way of the teams higher up on the ladder, not much will change in terms of standings but an upset in any of the three games could be telling.
Venues for the preliminary and grand finals will likely be confirmed early next week.
“The fact that we still can’t fully confirm where those two finals grounds says a lot about how good the season has been,” Albrecht said