THE Easter weekend saw the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League take a break, but action returns this week with round three of the season.
The round kicks off tomorrow with the Anzac Day clash between Kybybolite and Naracoorte, before the remaining four games are played on Saturday.
Penola has had a faultless start to the season with two wins from two games, but will face a tough opponent when it hosts Keith this weekend at McCorquindale Park.
The Crows finished third on the ladder last year – a win below the Eagles – and will be full of confidence after their round one thrashing of Kingston.
Keith defeated the Saints by a solid 83 points, while Penola faced the side the following week for a 55-point victory.
That suggests a tough encounter can be expected on Saturday, as the two sides look to flex their muscles early in the season.
With a bye in round two, it has been three weeks since Keith took to the park, which may provide the Eagles with an advantage.
That will be boosted by the influx of talent which has made its way to McCorquindale Park during the off-season and has so far been too much to handle for Penola’s opponents.
They come in the form of returning Eagles Brad and Matt Merrett, as well as Brad Bryant and Brock Egan from the Western Border Football League, with Egan expected to make his debut for the club on Saturday.
Brad Merrett has been impressive in front of goals, with seven from the opening two rounds, while Matt Merrett enjoyed Crows duties in the SANFL last round.
Brad Merrett joins Adam Merrett up front, who banged through an impressive eight majors last round, to sit third in the league goal-kicking standings with a total of 11.
Bryant has also been a strong inclusion and will look to replicate his standout debut with Penola, which saw him with over 30 possessions.
The regular suspects of Simon Berkefeld – who stood tall for the Eagles in round two with a best-on-ground performance – and Scott Merrett, who claimed the top honours in round one, will also be out to impress.
Those players only brush the surface of Penola’s depth this year and if everything comes together, the Eagles should emerge from the clash with a third victory.
However, Keith will be just as hungry for the win and if its round one performance is anything to go by, it will not bow down easily.
The Crows banged through an impressive 20 goals in that match, with 14 majors coming from just two players.
Jordan Robertson and Matthew McDonough both scored seven goals for the game, but it was George Thring who received the best-on-ground honours, with two goals to compliment his efforts.
The Eagles will need to limit the opportunities of those players if they are to remain in the fight, in what promises to be a thrilling return to KNT football.