A Grade 2nd Semi - Grand Final, The Road Less Travelled!

 

 

Wudinna Oval

West Coast Hawks v Elliston

Now this promises to be a game for the ages, only a point separating the teams at the last two outings, one win each, and a neutral venue to gain an edge and outright favouritism for flag honours.  The Hawks super disciplined, hard working and ruthless, the Roosters an excitement machine, high spirited surges in a team brimming with X factors.  The weeks rest last weekend, so the batteries are on full charge for the finals assault for both teams.

Last time these two met in a final was at Wudinna in the 2017 Preliminary Final, a narrow 11 point win to the Hawks in a game that wasn’t decided until the very end.

Finals Statistics                               West Coast Hawks             Elliston

Years in Mid West to end 2017                   19                              30

All Finals Played                                             43                              31

All Finals Won                                                26                               15

All Finals Win Percentage                            60.47%                48.39%

2nd Semi Final Played                                    17                              5                           

2nd Semi Finals Won                                      11                              2

Finals Played at Wudinna                              7                               5

Finals Won at Wudinna                                 4                               3

What does all this mean? The Hawks play a lot of finals and are very good at it! The Roosters don’t find themselves in the top two that often but they also acquit themselves well when here, a big chance to put a dent in the record of the masters!  Both sides win more than lose in finals at Wudinna.

On The Season

Round two at Piednippie              WC Hawks by 63 points

Round seven at Elliston                  WC Hawks by 1 point

Round twelve at Streaky Bay       Elliston by 1 point

The Roosters are the only side to lower the colours of the flying Hawk this season, two heart stoppers in round seven and twelve, both sides clear in their top two positions with game plans that entertain their passionate supporters.  Bigger stakes now, the short road to the Grand Final and chance to regroup while the vanquished thrashes it out with a resurgent Bombers.

 

So much to like about these teams, no accident that they hoarded the majority of Mail Medal votes and shared them amongst so many in form players. 

The Centreline duals will be spectacular, the Hawks ever reliable tall Dylan Kelsh will take on the big Rooster Otis Carter as 1st ruck options.  At their feet is elite talent, Jake Mc Evoy, Mark Dolling, Joe McInnis, Cameron Montgomerie for the Hawks, a group which would legitimately be the Mid West midfield, up against Delahay Miller, Liam Newton, Joe Burgoyne and Adam Hurrell for the Roosters, a group which would legitimately be the Mid West midfield!  What a prospect this is and so hard to pick a clear winner from this area. The Hawks backline are mean spirited, they give up nothing!  Tyson Montgomerie, Derick Freeman, Scott Montgomerie, Kirk Montgomerie are well equipped to handle whatever is thrown at them, and they have to be, the Roosters have plenty up their sleeve, if plan A doesn’t work, try a plan B C D E F etc, talent like Tom Rumbelow, Glen Tonkin, Andrew McLeod have the ability to win aerial duals, ground footy, kick goals from afar, the boundary, over their heads, whatever it takes!

Roosters have been clear winners at half back with Steve Paul and Ben Hurrell just dominating.  Experienced heads with an ability to win the hard ball, they will lead the defence.  No easy task here, the Hawks have been on a scoring rampage, Ryan Hicks Nick Schumann, Aiden Whitford, Cody Colbung, Shannon Haynes and Braden Holmes, quite a list of options, along with the midfielders who are not beyond their own sorties forward. 

Dillon Cabot back in the side after knee issues and he has provided a real boost for the Hawks.  Youngsters Harmyn Baldock, Lewis Mc Donald, Zak Lovegrove, Callum Saunders have been great all year, is there room for everybody?  The Roosters always have great service from Brody Kenny, Gorn Tree having a break out year, classy disposal and tenacious tackler, Dylan Williams sound in defence and a host of contributors at the Rooster pen this year.

This is a hard game to pick, so many reasons to build a case for both sides.  The larger Wudinna Oval may suit the Hawks given their strong training regime, yet it is also a ground that Elliston play well, certainly the scene of some great triumphs including their 1st premiership. One thing is sure however, they will put on a show and back themselves to win this one! They both score quickly and ended their seasons in that fashion. Finals are different, higher pressure and players less likely to take risks that may cause mistakes.  Not the end for the loser, but a much harder road forward, and would’nt it be nice to know that your destiny is a Grand Final!

That ability to score means that the game is not over until the final siren.  The last two matches have been heart stoppers, and this could well be one too, so anyone with dicky tickers should medicate early! *.

On finals experience only:

Hawks 1 – 10

*  Mid West recommends that you consult your doctor before medicating!

 




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