SYDNEY AFL FINALS WEEK 2: MATCH PREVIEWS

One week of finals are down, and we’ve still got six teams in play after a fantastic weekend of footy for the club. Our Under 19s Division One team are through to the Grand Final, and both our Premier Division Men and Women along with our Division Two team could also cement their position in the big dance if they get the wins this weekend. Let’s have a look at the match ups.

Premier Division Men (2nd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Saturday, 2:55pm
  • Venue: Blacktown
  • Opposition: North Shore (1st)

This will be a defining game for our Premier Division Men, with ladder leading North Shore having set the benchmark this season. Our boys played quality footy against Sydney Uni in their first qualifying final, and will be looking to replicate this again out at Blacktown on Saturday. Good service in the midfield from Matt Rawlinson and Harrison Collins culminated in James Pascoe and Steven Pollock bagging four goals apiece and Darren Pfeiffer was brilliant under pressure bringing the ball off the halfback line. They will all be important contributors in a game that will require North Shore’s Kyle Devlin, Ned Campbell and last year’s Phelan Medallist Shaun Crane to be shutdown to ensure Wayd Blackburn can’t add to his 46 goal tally. In the last match up between the two teams the Bulldogs had North Shore’s measure, taking out a 16 point win at Henson to reverse the 11 point loss earlier in the season. We’re expecting a similar tight one again this weekend.

Premier Division Women (2nd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Saturday, 9:40am
  • Venue: Blacktown
  • Opposition: Macquarie Uni (1st)

Expectations are high on our Premier Division Women who are looking to defend back to back premierships in 2018. Despite this, they will be going into this weekend’s contest against Macquarie Uni as the underdogs, with the Warriors being victors in both games during the regular season. Whilst both matches were tight contests with margins of 4 points and 7 points, Macquarie Uni have GWS Giants Captain Amanda Farrugia back in their line up for this weekend’s clash who will be adding plenty of firepower upfront. Our girls will have the mental edge in the game, with the benefits of finals experience under their belts and fond memories of their last match at Blacktown which saw them lift the premiership cup. Look for Ingrid Nielsen, Meagan Kiely, Alison Parkin, Sandra Janjetovic and Jacinda Barclay to control the tempo for the Doggies in what will be an absolute blockbuster out early at Blacktown on Saturday.

Premier Division Reserves (3rd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Sunday, 10:50am
  • Venue: Blacktown
  • Opposition: North Shore (5th)

Our Premier Division Reserves had a tough match up against Pennant Hills last Sunday and will be looking to bounce back quickly with their game against North Shore this weekend. In round 2, the Doggies displayed a dominant brand of football winning by 26 points and recording 23 scoring shots to 12, but the Bombers reversed this result in Round 12 at Henson Park in a low scoring affair. With a game apiece, this weekend’s result will be dictated by the battle of the midfield and the delivery to the forward line. Tom Heath, Harry Annear and Ryan Farrelly all dug deep in the loss against the Demons, and will be looking for assistance from experienced teammates Nick McGann, Andrew Goodieson and Fletcher Rowe to take out the win and keep their final series alive.

Division Two (2nd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Sunday 2:30pm
  • Venue: Henson Park
  • Opposition: Sydney Uni (1st)

With a Grand Final position up for grabs, we’ve no doubt the Division Two boys will be coming out firing in their Sunday afternoon game at Henson Park. It’s a classic battle of 1 v 2 on the ladder at the end of the regular season, and the Bulldogs will be looking to replicate their last game against Sydney Uni where they had a field day at No.1 Oval to record a 60 point win. Given the importance of the match, it’s more likely the result will resemble the Round 6 score line which saw the two teams only separated by one point,  but if the Doggies can shut down Students Kyall Homberg and Aron Everett who have combined for 64 goals this season, then they should be on the right side of the scoreboard at the end of the match. It’s already been an impressive season for the boys who have received terrific service from three complete rookies to the game in Yannick Gilyani, Dandan Seef, Nathan Shapiro and Nathan Ryba, ably supported by experienced campaigners Cam McKinlay, Alex Dawes and Tom Williamson.

Under 19s Division Two (4th on ladder)

  • Time and day: Saturday, 10:50am
  • Venue: Henson
  • Opposition: Penrith (2nd)

In last week’s elimination final, our Under 19 lads showed they could handle the pressure, taking out the game by six points to keep them in the hunt for a Grand Final berth. The boys will need to bring the same intensity this weekend to the match up against Penrith, a contest destined to be a cliffhanger. Only two goals have separated the teams in 2018, with a 1 point win to the Doggies in Round 6 overshadowed by a 12 point loss in Round 16 at the football friendly time of 9am out at Greygum Oval. Ethan Hart, Tom Faddy and Ollie Benjamin were in fantastic form in their first final’s foray, but it’s been a full team effort that has resulted in their success in the season to date and this will be no different on Saturday at Henson. Expect a big showing of support from their Grand Final bound Division One teammates to help get the #one19s over the line in this must win match.

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