PRELIMINARY FINALS: Preview
It’s week two of the AFL Canberra finals series, with UNSW Canberra Oval playing host to all four brilliant games of football this weekend. Jaike Altieri Reports…
Men’s First Grade
Belconnen vs. Eastlake, Sunday 1:30pm, UNSW Canberra Oval
Belconnen will be looking to bounce back this weekend, after serving up two average performances in a row. The Magpies, who were flag favourites earlier in the season, were simply out classed by Ainslie all over the ground in a 59-point loss last week. Eastlake on the other hand made the most of their opportunities to beat Queanbeyan in a 4-point nail biter. The Pies won 2 of the three matches between these teams, the most recent being three weeks ago where they made light work of the demons, winning by 53 points. But with some injury worries for the Pies and the Demons having a lot of confidence, it should be an absolutely cracking game.
Players to watch:
- Belconnen: Alex Jones #15– Jones is instrumental for the Magpies, being able to win the ruck contests as well as cover the ground well to accumulate possessions. If he’s on, the Magpies are on.
- Eastlake: Sam Burge #3– Burge is a Canberra Demons listed player and has the ability to break games open. A skilful player with pace to burn, if Burge can get the ball in his hands early and hit the scoreboard, it could spell danger for the Magpies.
UNSW Canberra Women’s First Grade
Belconnen vs. Queanbeyan, Sunday 4:00pm, UNSW Canberra Oval
Belconnen have had three disappointing weeks in a row and will need to bounce back if they want a spot in the Grand Final. The Magpies lost to Eastlake by 45-points last week and need to improve if they want their season to continue. Queanbeyan did what was expected last week and beat Ainslie by 31 points to book their ticket to the preliminary finals for this week. Queanbeyan will come into the game full of confidence as they beat Belconnen two weeks ago by 12 points. This should be a great game with everything to play for.
Players to watch:
Belconnen: Jodie Hicks #4– Jodie Hicks will need to be on top of her game for the Magpies to get the win. A real barometer for the midfield, Hicks was in the best players nine times out of her 10 matches, whilst kicking 11 goals.
Queanbeyan: Lani Watson #3– Lani is the leading goal kicker for the Tigers with 18 across the season, including two last week, and will need to bring her kicking boots on Sunday to give the Tigers the win.
Men’s Second Grade
Eastlake vs. Ainslie, Sunday 11:30am, UNSW Canberra Oval
This game sums up the second-grade season with both teams a chance to win if they bring their best football. Eastlake were dominant after half time last week, kicking 10 goals to two in a ferocious display. Ainslie went down by 25 points to Queanbeyan last week and will need to put that behind them to have a chance of winning back-to-back premierships. This could almost be one of the best games of the day, with both teams very evenly matched and either team being able to win on any given day.
CareSuper Rising Stars
Eastlake vs. Ainslie, Sunday 9:30am, UNSW Canberra Oval
Eastlake will want to bounce back after a 59-point loss at the hands of Queanbeyan last weekend. But it’ll be no easy task, with Ainslie having beaten the Demons two out of the three times they played this year, including last time on this ground. Ainslie were stellar in their 26-point victory over Belconnen last week and will be looking to go one step further after being runners up in last year’s Grand Final. This should be a great game with no clear winner on paper.