By Gary Williamson
New Norfolk v Kingborough at KGV
IN a grand final replay last year's premiers Kingborough play New Norfolk in the preliminary final at KGV Oval in what promises to be a very close game this Saturday. The rivalry between these two sides continues to grow and both teams will be desperate to end the opposition's season.
New Norfolk were surprisingly defeated at home last weekend in the second semi-final by the vastly improved and well-coached Lindisfarne and they will need to regroup and get back to their best form. A bye the week before and two very easy wins leading into the finals has once again not suited the Eagles. Another hard game this weekend will really help their cause for the flag but they need to get through the in-form opposition who thrive at this time of the year.
The Tigers had plenty of bad patches through the year but have started to come right and with two big finals wins already under their belts they now have the confidence and self belief to take the game right up the Eagles as they are now a more even side. The Tigers would have studied how Lindisfarne really closed up the game last weekend and played a well-drilled press to keep the high scoring Eagles to only seven goals and more importantly century goal kicker Thompson goalless, which proves there is a game plan that can defeat New Norfolk.
The Eagles will be fuming from last weekend and they will need to adjust their game plan and be mindful of the wide open spaces of the KGV oval. If they lose the clearance and contested possession, then the opposition will hurt them on the scoreboard. Key Tigers forward Lamprill bounced back to his best form last weekend with nine goals but will find the Eagles defence a lot harder to take contested marks and they will need to rely on their onballers to kick some goals to generate a winning score.
In a game that could go either way, perhaps the Eagles will bounce back to their best form and have another crack at Lindisfarne but the Tigers have an edge in pace and run and this ground will suit them. If the Tigers are close at three-quarter time, you would expect them to over-run the opposition.
- Mercury newspaper preview