Men's First Grade Preliminary Final Preview
Men’s First Grade Preview
Casey Warriors v Northern Thunder
Two teams coming off two completely different results. The Warriors looked to struggle late in their comprehensive defeat to Werribee, while the Thunder were able to mount a second half charge and cause an upset, defeating Sunbury.
While these two teams had blowout results during the season, finals pressure can prove costly for some teams with nerves playing a massive part which will be on show again this Saturday.
In their first meeting this season, the Warriors were able to dominate, like they have for most of the season in a dominant 66-16 victory, with Leiu, Broughton and Ki all being able to cross twice each, with five other tryscorers crossing once in a dominating attacking display. For the Thunder, they had four tries, but were unable to convert any of them, with extra points being key if they are to cause an upset this weekend.
William Sila was, and still is in red hot form, scoring in both meetings between the two sides, as well as in last week’s victory, and will look to lead from the front again this week for the Thunder.
In the second meeting of the season, the continued improvement of Northern was on show, as they were able to bring a tougher contest to the Warriors and bridge the 50-point gap that came in the first matchup.
Whilst losing 24-38, they were able to form a tighter group defensively, and convert more efficiently with their kicking. However, the Warriors were still able to dominate offensively for major parts of the game, with Waka Sweet, Kelma Tuilagi and Timothy Anitonia crossing the try-line twice.
Speaking to Casey’s coach, Arana Taepa, he questioned his team’s ability to be disciplined against Werribee, and turned his focus to this week. “The boys are ready, we know we weren’t where we wanted to be last week but we can make that up this week.”
This week will be about speed and toughness, with the Warriors lacking that for most parts of the game last week, being burned in the middle by Werribee’s pace. It was the first loss of the season, and will be looking to respond strongly.
The Thunder will be beaming with confidence, however, will need a near-perfect performance for an unlikely upset.
Casey Warriors v Northern Thunder – Casey by 12