Round 11 Preview
BLK Sydney AFL Premier Division heats up this weekend as we enter the final 8 rounds heading into the finals. The season has flown by with a number of tight and memorable contests so far this year. As the top teams look at maintain their lofty status on top of the pile there are a number of clubs looking to knock them off to get a taste of September action.
This week one of the matches of the round will be when Sydney University travel to Picken Oval to compete for the Peter Ramus Cup. The Peter Ramus Cup was inaugurated in 2008 to honour Sydney University stalwart and former Western Suburbs junior official, the late Peter Ramus. This contest will not only be an emotional contest as the teams remember shared club legend but will also be a brilliant contest. In Round 1 when these two clubs faced off, Sydney University took the chocolates in a tight contest that come down to the wire before Sydney Uni pulled away to win by 25 points. Since then Sydney University have struggled to put wins on the board, only running out winners one time since. They will be hoping talented youngster Will Gowers provides some spark in the midfield in just his third senior match. Gowers is a real talent, being involved heavily in U18’s TAC Cup footy and Sydney Swans NEAFL commitments so far this year. Western Suburbs, the unluckiest side in the competition, will be looking to get on the board this weekend. Western Suburbs have rarely been blown away this year and have been really close in a few games can consider themselves unlucky to remain winless so far this year. Yes, they have been on the wrong side of a three shellacking’s so far this year but they have been to the top three teams (St George, East Coast and UTS). They sit 0-9 as they head into this weekend’s match and could be a good chance to break their duck. They will be hoping that Martin Brown will be able to maintain his fine form so far in 2016 and will be looking to Ben Zoppo and John Haggerty to create score board pressure against the students. Prediction: Sydney University by 4 points
This weekend we have a top three battle as UTS Bats host the rampant East Coast Eagles in what should be great contest. East Coast Eagles have looked almost unstoppable this year, only having lost to the north shore Bombers so far this year. Expect strong bodied Andrew Browning to dominate the contest as the East Coast midfielders look to deliver the ball inside 50 to Andrew McConnell. UTS Bats have also been one of the surprise packets of the competition so far this year with their impressive form. Their only two losses of the season to date have been at the hands of the top two sides, St George and East Coast. Last time these two faced each other the Eagles ran out 14 point winners. Daniel Breese gets mentioned a lot when the UTS Bats are talked about and for good reason, he has been the standout forward of the competition to date. He has kicked an impressive 31 goals to date and has looked hard to stop this year as fullbacks struggle to contain the strong marking forward. Also the rise of Jai Lyons as added much excitement to the UTS brand of football. Prediction: East Coast Eagles by 18 points
The North Shore Bombers will be hoping that the key returns of Veale, Baron-Hay and Wilson bolster their strong side as they face the St George Dragons. The St George Dragons have been dominant this year, suffering their only defeat of the year to the East Coast Eagles by 5 points earlier in the season. These teams have not met so far this year so this will be an interesting encounter to watch. The Dragons will be looking to big bodied midfielder Karl Merson to win the ball in tight where the St George midfield will look to deliver to Declan Donahue and Nick Ryan. The Bombers will be out to show they can mix it with the competitions best. North Shore will be looking for their players to play their role as the competition for spots heats up. One player who has snuck relatively under the radar this year is Daniel Roberts. Daniel will be hoping to increase his goal tally on the weekend on the back of his six goal haul last weekend. Will Taylor will also be important for the Bombers out of defence as well as Nick Hurrell working the midfield. Prediction: St George by 50
Manly Warringah will be looking to reclaim their spot in the top five as they take on the UNSW/ES Bulldogs. Many wrote off the Giants after their poor start to the year but they have come storming back into finals contention. A win will see Manly overtake Pennant Hills (bye) and put them back inside the top 5. Weldon may be a challenge for the Bulldogs as they look at the daunting road trip to Curl Curl. They will be looking to take it to Manly and continue their rise up the ladder. Jeremy Daniher will again be the key for UNSW/ES as he looks to add to his 6 times in the best so far this year. Prediction: Manly Warringah by 37
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