A Grade Grand Final Preview - The Titans Clash!

4 September 2018

 

 

The Grand Finale to season 2018 has arrived, hard work over a whole season now leads to one final stop, the home of the Bombers – Wirrulla. Qualifying and playing in a Grand Final is the peak of our sport, the colour, excitement and expectation make this a special day that lives long in memory.

These are the top two after the minor round, so it is fitting that they eventually play for season spoils.  The second semi final was very closely fought, the Hawks kicking the first and last five goals of the match, outrunning the Roosters in the end on the larger Wudinna Oval.  Elliston leading by almost two goals early in the last quarter. Wirrulla Oval requires different challenges and strategies! The Hawks a week off to recharge, suits them as they are well drilled and fit. The Roosters had to hold off a very determined Bombers at Elliston to qualify.  Only understood to be dealing with minor injuries, so a relief on that front, but a big benefit for having an extra game for a side that struggles to get a team training given the players wide geographical distribution.

A brief look back to their Mid West history:

Finals Statistics                               West Coast Hawks            Elliston

Years in Mid West incl 2018                       20                              31

All Finals Played                                             44                             33

All Finals Won                                                27                               16

All Finals Win Percentage                            61.36%                48.48%

Grand Finals Played                                      16                              7                           

Grand Finals Won                                           8                              3

Finals Played at Wirrulla                                8                               8

Finals Won at Wirrulla                                   6                               3

 

These clubs have met twice in a Grand Finals, both games also at Wirrulla, this is their third match up here! Some mysterious six year cycle happening!  Elliston also competed in the 2000 Grand Final at Wirrulla Oval, six years earlier stopping Central Eyre's run of premierships with the Roosters second flag in Mid West, so the ground is a favourite haunt of Roosters this time of year (each sixth year!):           

2012  -  Elliston 14.9 =93 def West Coast Hawks 7.10 = 52

2006  -  West Coast Hawks 17.16 def Elliston 9.13

 

On The Season

Round two at Piednippie                             WC Hawks by 63 points

Round eight at Elliston                                 WC Hawks by 1 point

Round twelve at Streaky Bay                      Elliston by 1 point

Second Semi Final at Wudinna                  WC Hawks by 26 points

5th match up of the year, and at five different venues, sort of a World Tour!

 

So the Hawks don’t mind playing at Wirrulla, winning most of their finals played, however on their record is just that sore red pimple that really hurts, the 2012 Grand Final vs the Roosters!

This game should be a belter, the Hawks so good all year, but the Roosters keep nipping at their heals, both teams know that they have the artillery to win this one!

Strength on every line at Hawksville, a well settled team, and Mark Dolling an excellent tactician having played at higher levels of the game.  A brutally efficient midfield starting with the 2017 Mail Medallist Dylan Kelsh.  Not only his tap work but mobility around the ground.  Centreline including the strong contested winning ability of Mark Dolling, the sheer speed and skill of Jake Mc Evoy, Joe McInnis, Cam Montgomerie and Dillon Cabot.  Excellent forward marking targets of Aiden Whitford, Ryan Hicks and Cody Colbung is in outstanding form, a match winner himself.  At their feet Corey Cabot and Braden Holmes mop up every crumb that hits the deck.  Likely that young Zak Lovegrove will spend time forward, an emerging champion, his ability to read play and hold pressure marks is fantastic.  Nick Schumann holds sway on the wing, moves forward and back at knots assisting any opposition in need of advice!  Lean and mean defensively, the Hawks start their attack from here time and time again.  Tyson Montgomerie and Derick Freeman will take the talls, with Scott Montgomerie, Kirk Montgomerie and Shannon Haynes providing the elastic rebound that devastates opposition.   Dillon Montgomerie’s season has been interrupted with injury, but s a Rolls Royce finals player, he will play a big role.  Harmyn Baldock and Lewis McDonald have played big years and will thrive in the big match up here.  Is there a place for ever reliable James Westley, so good in past finals, and also young stars Jonti Brice and Callum Saunders.

The Roosters are the big X factors of Mid West.  They can inflict adrenaline filled bursts of scoring frenzies at times, and therefore they are right in any match.  A high class midfield that structures very similarly to the Hawks.  Big Otis Carter will lead the ruck, helped out by Luke Pryor.  The remaining midfielders of Joe Burgoyne, Liam Newton, Del Miller, Adam Hurrell are five star performers, and the big stage suits.  Loved Brody Kenny’s run and carry last week, breaking the lines, look out again this week.  Gorn Tree is quick with his hands and a tackling machine.  Strong and determined defensively, Steve Paul at Centre Half Back has been superb all year, teaming with the guile of Ben Hurrell and Matthew Bascomb the balls head out at great speed.  Jay Williams very welcome back to the fray, shoulder reattached now, what a boom recruit he is on the eve of finals.  Dylan Williams has been great on the last line and he will appreciate another big assignment this week.  The Rooster forward line looks awesome too, Jordan Newton, Tom Rumbelow and Andrew Mc Leod are capable of anything, Glen Tonkin aerial ability is hard to counter and Peter Carter loves it hard and tough, he is very capable of a bag himself!  Sam McConnell has been a great pick up at the club, in the best regularly and flexible across centre or forward. Look out for the run of Kye Higgins and Yarni Cobby, they cover plenty of ground and are good when they get it.

Wirrulla a true neutral venue, great place to play football.  Conditions are expected to be good, and therefore this one should be a wonderful spectacle.  Elliston need to be disciplined and not give anything to the Hawks for free, as indiscretions cost big time in Grand Finals.  Both sides are capable of cricket scores, but that doesn’t happen in the finals pressure, players less likely to risk turnovers.  The midfield will go a long way to deciding a winner here, first use is important given that both sides have a venomous forward line.  The second semi possibly provided more questions than answers on the Roosters, poor starters that day but unlikely to make that mistake again!  The Roosters do need to be leading by a few goals at three quarter time as the fit Hawks will come home hard regardless.  Good cases for a red and white inscription on the shield, but just cant ignore the winning record at the Hawks Nest 2018.

Hawks 1 – 10




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