Finals Preview & Predictions - All the other divisions
Finals are in full swing this weekend across all grades with plenty to play for!
UTS and Pennant Hills battle it out on Saturday evening for a place in the 2nd Semi against Balmain next week. UTS are the form side of the comp after a slower than expected start to the year and will be hard to beat. Pennant Hills depth is phenomenal however and will be confident in their clash having scored a big win over the Bats earlier this season. Their most recent meeting however UTS took the points over the Demons at Mike Kenny Oval.
Prediction: UTS to prevail in a tight one. Bats by 16 points
Sunday afternoon will see 4th placed Macquarie University up against 5th placed Sydney University in the Elimination Final. Both sides have mixed form in the back half of the year but Sydney Uni hold a 2-0 record over the Warriors this season. Mac Uni come into this on the back of four straight wins where they effectively ended finals hopes for three of those opponents. Regardless of the result its been a great first year in Division One for the Students, in particular considering its the clubs 3rd Grade side.
Prediction: The class of the Warriors to shine through. Mac Uni by 25 points
It’s a battle of two Western Sydney clubs which is great to see as minor Premiers Camden return to the park this week against 2014 runners-up Blacktown and it should be a ripping contest. The pressure is on the Cats to continue their spectacular home and away season form and they would be favoured to take the first Grand Final position. Blacktown however have been deep in finals in the past 3 years and are a strong unit.
Prediction: It’s hard to go past the form of the Cats this year and while it’s a toss of the coin job, they should sneak through in a thriller. Camden by 2 points
For Manly-Warringah or Penrith it will be season over come Sunday afternoon. Manly were competitive against the impressive Blacktown last weekend however need to ensure they start better as they looked early like they were in for a big loss. They dug deep however and the final three quarters were much closer. A big target up forward is what they need to regularly hit the scoreboard. Penrith on the other hand proved what a dangerous side they will be in finals after scraping in. To defeat Moorebank was a huge effort and we thought if they passed that test they could go on a bit of a run.
Prediction: Apart from being tough football, the Rams should cause Blacktown and Camden to look over their shoulders by beating the Giants and progressing to the Preliminary Final. Penrith by 19 points
Its a battle of the Uni’s on Saturday as UTS and Sydney University do battle at Henson Park. They are two quality sides with plenty of talent who wouldn’t be out of place in Division Two. Two tight contests between the teams earlier this year with a win each don’t give much indication of the outcome. Sydney University couldn’t have been more impressive in their demolition of Penrith last weekend, well led by Gabe Robbie in front of goal which the Bats would have been studying intently.
Prediction: The Students to upset the Bats and claim the first GF spot. Sydney Uni by 10 points
Western Suburbs are the form side of the comp at this point of the season and would fancy their chances against a Penrith side well and truly beaten last weekend. Western Suburbs easily accounted for Pennant Hills in the Elimination Final and have plenty of experience along with their momentum.
Prediction: The dream to continue for the Magpies. Western Suburbs by 22 points
Minor Premiers Macquarie University return to the park against a dogged Holroyd-Parramatta at Henson Park. Both sides would be ecstatic with their seasons. Mac Uni’s first men’s minor premiership for a long time is great to see while last weekend the Goannas finals hoodoo was broken with a great display against a strong Wollondilly. The week off has helped the Warriors as the Goannas lost a number of players during their match (adding weight to the great win) which shows the importance of finishing in top spot.
Prediction: Warriors into the GF! Mac Uni by 20 points
Wollondilly were courageous last week and now need to regroup for their big clash with Manly-Warringah. The Knights weren’t far off an impressive Goannas and would love to get another crack at them but need to get past the Giants first. Manly were great last week to upset (according to our prediction last week) Campbelltown and move into the Semi’s.
Prediction: A 1st Grade side v a 3rd Grade side should show through. Wollondilly by 18 points
It’s Preliminary Final week as UNSW/ES take on Pennant Hills. UNSW/ES were very impressive last week against UTS and pushed them the whole way and would love to get another crack at the Bats. Pennant Hilsl however wont be a pushover and have the experience on their side which plays a huge role.
Prediction: A great season from the Demons to come to an end. Dogs to get another crack at UTS with a 28 point win.
Womens Division One
Week 1 of finals and what a blockbuster the Sydney Uni v Newtown clash shapes up to be! Uni finished as minor premiers despite winning less games than the Breakaways (but lost less games) however Newtown walloped the reigning Premiers just a few weeks ago so would be confident. The Bombers were clinical last week against fellow finalists Western Wolves and do have the armoury and will have put their recent defeated behind them.
Prediction: Tough! If there is an extra time match this weekend this could be it. Without any confidence, Sydney Uni by 1 point!
Both UNSW/ES and Western Wolves have enjoyed solid seasons in 2015 however it will end for the loser on Saturday afternoon. The Wolves started the season in brilliant fashion but have tailed off lately so will be looking back to their start for inspiration. Maybe the big preseason will pay dividends late in this match? The Stingrays have almost flown under the radar this year just going about their business and will be looking to go one better than last years Grand Final loss. Maddy Collier out is a huge hole to fill however!
Prediction: Another tight one. Stingrays by 7 points
Womens Division Two
Auburn and Penrith do battle in the Preliminary Final for a shot against Gosford in the first AFL Sydney Grand Final. Auburn led for most of the day last week but were just run down by the Wildcats and will need to rebound quickly. They don’t score many goals but on the other hand don’t concede many. The Rams will be looking to get the ball moving which will suit there playing style which has been impressive in both finals to date.
Prediction: A great season from the Giants but Penrith are hitting their straps at the right time and as predicted earlier, will march on to the Grand Final where they will be mighty hard to toss. Rams by 16 points