Rothnie to line up in Central West AFL decider despite hamstring injury

ON THE MOVE: Michael Rothnie will play in the AFL Central West decider against Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels on Saturday. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN.
ON THE MOVE: Michael Rothnie will play in the AFL Central West decider against Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels on Saturday. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN.

This week, gun Orange Tigers midfielder Michael Rothnie has Orange’s most important muscle. 

His hamstring, which was busted in the final seconds of the third quarter against Dubbo a few weeks ago, was re-injured in the preliminary final two weeks ago, but coach Dale Hunter said Rothnie will play in the grand final regardless of his recovery this week. 

“There’s no hopefully about it, we’ll roll the dice on that one,” Hunter said.

“With the way the competition is and having a six-man bench you can afford to do that, if we get two and a half really good quarters from him and he breaks down, we’ve got five capable people who can rotate through.

“For me it’s pretty easy, you play him and roll the dice.”

Ruckman Tom Gibbons will also be available for the game after missing last week, and full back Dylan Johns will play despite injured ribs. 

Hunter himself has played the last month of footy, but tore a muscle in his thigh during the third quarter of the final against Bathurst Giants and will be unavailable for selection for Saturday’s game – a fact he’s not caught up on.

“I was never going to play anyway but it’s one less person I have to tell isn’t playing,” he said. 

Tim Barry was also unavailble last time the sides clashed, but played on the weekend and will line up for the side on Saturday. 

The game kicks off from 2.30pm at George Park in Bathurst on Saturday, with $5 entry. 

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