THOMSON co-coach Reece Holwell has been around long enough to know that today’s top-of-the-table clash with Bannockburn carries no more reward than the four points on offer.

However, he is also well aware that question marks will surround his team’s premiership credentials until they can claim a win over another side seen as a challenger for the 2016 flag.

The Tigers six wins in 2016 have come against teams outside the top five.

Their only loss came in Round 5 – by six points – against reigning premier Bell Post Hill.

“You want to beat the best sides in the comp, and Banno have proved since the start of the season they’re going to be one of best sides this year,” Holwell said.

“Not only that, we want to prove to ourselves we have got the capability to beat top sides as well.”

However, suggestions Thomson hasn’t been challenged through the opening seven rounds have been rejected by Holwell.

“We’ve been winning by big margins, but we definitely get challenged by these sides at different points,” he said.

“As I’ve said before, I reckon we need to prove to ourselves, not only can we beat the sides below us, but we want to compete against the good sides and take that big scalp to give us confidence moving forward as well.”

The battle of the Tigers pits the two best forwards line against the two best defences in the competition.

Thomson averages 144 points per game and concedes just 66, while Bannockburn comes in at 142 in attack and a miserly 54 in defence.

The two clubs have four of the top five goalkickers in the competition.

Bannockburn’s Jason Tom leads the GDFL with 36 majors while teammate Kieran Fulton is on 24.

Thomson brothers Brent and Jackson Macleod have booted 35 and 26 majors respectively.

Howell knows stopping Tom will be a key for his team taking top spot after eight rounds.

However, the second-year coach was giving little away in terms of a match-up.

“I’d love to be able to tell you,” he said.

“We’ve got a plan there, and there’s a plan B and C.

“And they’ve definitely got other avenues to goal, so we can’t forget about those ones either.”

Holwell was happy to confirm that limiting supply from Bannockburn’s midfield will be a key.

“If they’ve got space to work with, they’re hitting him lace out,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any defender in the comp that will be able to stop that.

“We’ve got to put that pressure on their midfielders, stop the supply, and turn it into a scrap for them kicking into the forward line, for sure.”

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