Danny's Preview - Lower Divisions
Womens Division Two- Southern Power v Wollongong
Not much is set to separate these sides again given their recent history.
The highest margin in their three matches this year has been 11 points. With this said, Southern Power have gone through the season undefeated and will start warm favourites.
The Power have class through the leadership of Kathryn Hull in the middle.
Another player to watch is Kristy De Pellegrini who is a gun key defender who can set up the play very well.
Wollongong have firepower of their own that can cause a Power outage.
Kate Stanton may only be 15 years of age in her first year of senior football, but she has made quite the impression kicking over 60 goals.
Power coach Matt Crowe’s attention will also be on Nicola Kennedy. Kennedy is a representative player who can play centre but also wreak havoc up forward.
The ruck duel could be pivotal in this clash.
Danny’s Prediction: It seems Wollongong are coming along nicely and might pip Southern Power at the post after only falling short by 3 points a fortnight ago. Wollongong by 7 points.
Division Five- Blacktown v Penrith
This is somewhat of a surprising match-up between the two sides that finished fourth and third on the ladder respectively.
With minor premiers, Nor-West and Camden displaced from the finals race, premiership glory awaits one of the two sides west of the Anzac Bridge this weekend.
Penrith have won both of the two previous encounters these two sides have played; by 1 point in the opening round and 61 points in the middle half of the season.
The world has turned since then.
Kevin Kirk is Penrith’s leading goal kicker with 79 goals in the regular season and will need to be closely marked. Tayt Corless is another player of note for the Rams.
Blacktown have an excitement machine in Mbimbi Mbimbi who will most likely start across half-forward but was everywhere last weekend, while John Lane kicked 49 goals in the regular season.
Danny’s Prediction: Penrith to continue their winning record against Blacktown and secure the first silverware for the club this year. Penrith by 15 points
Division Two- Blacktown vs Manly-Warringah
An intriguing clash awaits in Division Two between two sides on the up.
Blacktown have surprised many with the ease of their move into this competition after taking out Division Three in 2013. Last week’s 59-point loss to Sydney University was a reality check in an otherwise superb last few weeks. Ashley Moeller will be the main target up forward and has noted Premier Division experience. Dean Connors also has big game experience and will be a leader on the weekend.
Brad Whale and David Bertram have been the best performers this finals series.
Manly-Warringah have also come from the clouds as they look to replicate the efforts of their Premier Division side. The highlight of their season was their 11 point win over Western Suburbs (second after the end of the regular season) to knock them out in straight sets last weekend.
After leading the competition in the opening weeks, they suffered a lull but have come good at the right end of the season.
They have a number of classy players who have tasted first grade action. Former UTS star Michael Atkinson (aka the White Wizard) is one who fits this category, along with Craig Pridgeon and Ben Joseph who was a late withdrawal last week through injury.
Matthew Rawle will be a key target up forward, while Nick Adams and John Porter (three goals) last week has been the GIANTS best in the last fortnight.
Danny’s Prediction: Blacktown will earn another shot at Sydney University in the Grand Final. The Magic by 10 points.
Division Three- Penrith vs Sydney University
This division has thrown up some surprises with Nor-West bowing out after successive finals losses.
Penrith threw away the opportunity to qualify for the big dance after they lost by 51 points at the hands of Randwick City.
Mitchell Stevens will be the key target up forward, kicking 73 goals in the regular season. Matt Payne and former Premier Division player, Ben Katte are also classy players amongst this company.
Sydney University come into this game with a strong wind at their back. They beat Nor-West to the tune of 94-points to easily qualify for the Preliminary Final.
Leigh McWhirter is the general of the side and should spend some time in the middle.
Gabe Robbie has kicked 13 goals in the last three weeks including a haul of five last week.
Danny’s Prediction: Sydney University to cause an upset of sorts with Robbie to kick another bag. Sydney University by 22 points.
Division Four- Wollondilly vs Sydney University
Wollondilly have another opportunity to qualify for a Grand Final in their first year in the AFL Sydney competition against Sydney University.
They will be looking to improve on only managing one goal against competition favourites, UTS last week.
Playing coach, Daniel Hockey has a prodigious left foot and should float across half-back. Russell Andrews is another to watch as a key on-baller.
Sydney University have done well in sudden death situations and courtesy of a strong start against UNSW/ES get a chance to cause an upset.
Brendon Clendenning was best on ground last week and may win promotion to the Division Three side. Thomas King is another who has performed in the back-end of the season.
Danny’s Prediction: Last week was only a hiccup for Wollondilly as they look set to continue their Cinderella story. Wollondilly by 9 points